Bush sells world short
The US financial fallout sept, 2008.
By Stephan Tychon, editor.
Basically a global behavioural problem rooted in the 1963 energy-fundamentals that made life too easy for the greedy and smart at heart. Sophisticated technological innovation made a inviting but toxic tool for the instrumentation of complex financial vehicles. This systemic pressure constriction referred to as 'The American Condition' (La Condition Américaine) points at imposed aggressive authority without any democratic feedback. That's exactly what we see the Bush administration now doing: imposing a vast and unknowable action upon Congress fast. No time to realise let alone discuss the fact that the financial system is a global system based on energy-fundamentals: the cheap-oil economy that is still there but based on a US-imposed transatlantic contract that linked oil and gas prices and eventually the euro to the dollar as a result. Heading to a global energy-transition, from a world oil-economy to as natural gas-economy, the Bush administration had better explained people the way we are all forced to take: much more dependent from Russian and Iranian goodwill. Even the state-monopoly of force has to be sustainable one day soon. Looks like the game is over, but honesty and ethics are only talked about and not practiced.
SEC-Fed crime SOX, Cox!
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission banned short selling on 799 different stocks on September 19, 2008. The ban was announced on the agency's Web site. Short selling is the borrowing of stocks for a small fee with the purpose of selling them, buying the stocks again when their value goes down, making a profit on the price difference, and then return them to the owner. Some believe the act was one reason for the escalating financial crisis, especially the recent failure of several banks.1
- On stocks in financial companies1
- A temporary measure1
- U.K. Financial Services Authority announced a similar ban on the same day1
- A 30-day ban on short selling of stocks from 18 large banks was in effect earlier in the summer1
- John McCain criticized SEC and its chairman Christopher Cox the day before for failing to prevent speculators that "turn the market into a casino"2
- A larger rescue plan for the financial crisis would be finalized during the upcoming weekend1
Latest News on the Financial Crisis
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley become bank holding companies
Mortgage Bailout Plan to increase debt limit
Fed to flood markets with $180 billion
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In finance, short selling or "shorting" is the practice of selling a financial instrument the seller does not own, in the hope of repurchasing them later at a lower price. This is done in an attempt to profit from an expected decline in price of a security, such as a stock or a bond, in contrast to the ordinary investment practice, where an investor "goes long," purchasing a security in the hope the price will rise. Often the seller will "borrow" or "rent" the items to be sold, and later repurchase identical items for return to the lender. However, the practice is risky in that prices may rise indefinitely, even beyond the net worth of the short seller. The act of repurchasing is known as "closing" a position.
The term "short selling" or "being short" is often also used as a blanket term for strategies that allow an investor to gain from the decline in price of a security. Those strategies include buying options known as puts. A put option consists of the right to sell an asset at a given price; thus the owner of the option benefits when the market price of the asset falls. Similarly, a short position in a futures contract, or to be short on a futures contract, means the holder of the position has an obligation to sell the underlying asset at a later date, to close out the position.
To profit from a stock price going down, short sellers can borrow a security and sell it, expecting that it will be cheaper to repurchase in the future. When the seller decides that the time is right (or when the lender recalls the shares), the seller buys back the shares in order to return them to the lender. The process generally relies on the fact that securities are fungible, so that the shares returned do not need to be the same shares as were originally borrowed.
The short seller borrows from their broker, who usually in turn has borrowed the shares from some other investor who is holding his shares long; the broker itself seldom actually purchases the shares to lend to the short seller. The lender of the shares does not lose the right to sell the shares.
Short selling is the opposite of "going long." The short seller takes a fundamentally negative, or "bearish" stance, intending to "sell high and buy low," to reverse the conventional adage. The act of buying back the shares which were sold short is called 'covering the short'. Day traders and hedge funds often use short selling to allow them to profit on trading in stocks which they believe are overvalued, just as traditional long investors attempt to profit on stocks which are undervalued by buying those stocks.
In the U.S., in order to sell stocks short, the seller must arrange for a broker-dealer to confirm that it is able to make delivery of the shorted securities. This is referred to as a "locate." Brokers have a variety of means to borrow stocks in order to facilitate locates and make good delivery of the shorted security.
The vast majority of stock borrowed by U.S. brokers come from loans made by the leading custody banks and fund management companies (see list below). Sometimes brokers are able to borrow stocks from their customers who own "long" positions. In these cases, if the customer has fully paid for the long position, the broker cannot borrow the security without the express permission of the customer, and the broker must provide the customer with collateral and pay a fee to the customer. In cases where the customer has not fully paid for the long position (meaning the customer borrowed money from the broker in order to finance the purchase of the security), the broker will not need to inform the customer that the long position is being used to effect delivery of another client's short sale.
Most brokers will allow retail customers to borrow shares to short a stock only if one of their own customers has purchased the stock on margin. Brokers will go through the "locate" process outside their own firm to obtain borrowed shares from other brokers only for their large institutional customers.
Stock exchanges such as the NYSE or the NASDAQ typically report the "short interest" of a stock, which gives the number of shares that have been sold short as a percent of the total float. Alternatively, these can also be expressed as the short interest ratio, which is the number of shares sold short as a multiple of the average daily volume. These can be useful tools to spot trends in stock price movements.
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What is Short Selling
Traditionally the premise of investing is that you buy an asset and hold it until it rises enough to make a sizable profit, it doesn't get much easier than that. What about the times you come across a stock that you wouldn't invest a penny in, you know that stock is doomed, a sure loser. If you knew that the stock was going to decline wouldn't be nice to be able to profit from its decline.
Well you can profit from the decline of a stock and although it sounds easy, there are substantial risks and pitfalls that you need to watch out for. The mechanics of a short sale are somewhat complicated and the investor's risks are high so it is important that you understand the transaction before getting into it.
What does it mean to sell short?
If you sell a stock you don't own, you are selling short. (Yes, it's legal.) You are now short the stock.
A short seller sells a stock that he believes will fall in value. A short seller does not own the stock before he sells it. Instead, he borrows it from someone who already owns it. Later, the short seller buys back the stock he shorted and returns the stock to close out the loan. If the stock has fallen in price since he sold short, he can buy the stock back for less than he received for selling it. The difference is his profit.
Short selling allows investors to profit from falling stock prices. "Buy low, sell high" is the goal of both short selling and purchasing shares ("going long"). A short sale reverses the order of a typical stock purchase: the stock is sold first and bought later.
For example, in March 2002, Andy thinks HLL is overvalued. He sells short 100 shares of HLL at Rs. 250 per share. The stock market crashes in April and HLL's share price falls to Rs. 210 per share. Andy buys back 100 shares of HLL and closes out the short sale. Andy gains the difference between the sales proceeds and the purchase costs and pockets Rs. 4,000 from the short sale, excluding transaction costs.
Where Does The Broker Get The Stock?
The short answer is from other customers or the Stock Holding Corp. of India.
Short selling is a marginable transaction. In plain English, that means you must open a margin account to sell short. This is the same account you would use if you want to use your stocks as collateral margin to trade in the markets.
When you open a margin account, you must sign an agreement with your broker. This agreement says you will maintain a cash margin or pledge your stocks as margin.
How Do I Sell Short?
Unlike a stock purchase transaction, which involves two parties (the buyer and the seller), short selling involves three parties: the original owner, the short seller, and the new buyer. The short seller borrows shares from the original owner, and immediately sells them on the open market to any willing buyer. To finalize ("close out") the short sale transaction, the short seller must then go out into the stock market and buy the same amount of shares as he sold so that the broker can return them to the original owner.
To sell short you first must set up a margin account with your broker. A margin account allows you borrow from your brokerage company using the value of your portfolio as collateral. The general rule is that the value of your portfolio must equal at least 50% of the size of the short sale transaction. In other words, If you have Rs. 100,000 worth of stock/cash in your margin account, you can borrow Rs. 200,000 of stock to sell short.
To sell a stock short, you must borrow stock. To initiate a short sale, you simply call up your broker and ask to sell short a specific number of shares of your selected stock. Your broker then checks with the Margin Department to see whether the shares are available or can be borrowed. If they are available, the brokerage borrows the shares, sells them in the open market, and puts the proceeds into your margin account. To close out your short sale, you tell your broker that you want to buy the same number of shares that you shorted. The broker will purchase the shares for you using the money in your margin account, return the shares and close out the short sale transaction.
While your short sale is outstanding, your account will be charged interest against the value of the short position. If the stock you shorted goes up in price, or the value of the stock you are using as collateral goes down in price, so that your collateral is less than the "maintenance" requirement you will be required to add money to your margin account or buy back the stock that you sold short. You must also pay any dividends issued by the company whose stock you sold short.
Why Sell Short?
The two primary reasons for selling short are opportunism and portfolio protection. Occasionally investors see a stock that they believe has been hyped to a ridiculously high level. They believe that the stock price will fall when reality replaces the hype. A short sale provides the opportunity to profit from the overpriced stock. Short sales are also used to protect an investor's portfolio against a market downturn. By shorting stocks that the investor believes will fall sharply when the market as a whole falls, investors can help insulate the value of their portfolios against sudden market drops.
Short selling is also used to protect portfolios against erosion due to a broad market decline. Short sellers make money when stock prices fall. An investor can diversify a long portfolio by adding some short positions. The portfolio will then have positions that make money both when prices rise and when they fall. This reduces the volatility in the portfolio's returns and helps protect the value of the portfolio when prices are falling.
By shorting carefully selected stocks that are priced near their peak but that will fall sharply if the market falls, an investor can use the profits from the short sales to help offset losses in his long position to protect the value of his portfolio.
Short selling just like long buying is essential for proper functioning of the stock market. It provides essential liquidity which in turn leads to proper price discovery.