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Activist Insight data show such campaigns can have a noticeable impact on stock prices. A 2017 working paper by researchers Yu Ting Forester Wong and Wuyang Zhao also showed they weigh on target companies’ investments, dividends and access to financing. Block, Left and other prominent short sellers interviewed by Reuters say they do thorough research and help keep companies honest. Yet targeted businesses say many short campaigns waged this decade amount to “short and distort” schemes. They accuse some activists of spreading false or misleading information to drive a stock down and then quickly cash out, a mirror image of “pump and dump,” where unscrupulous investors promote speculative stocks before selling out at the top cufflinks shirts zara.
Cases against short sellers are rare, though, given free speech protections and companies hesitant to put themselves under the microscope of regulators, lawyers say. Recent research provides fresh fodder for the debate. Columbia Law School securities expert Joshua Mitts said in a working paper that he had looked at 1,720 pseudonymous short idea posts on Seeking Alpha between 2010 and 2017 and found that 86 percent were preceded by “extraordinary” options trading. Mitts told Reuters his review of the posts found that, like with Farmland, many short sellers appeared to use fast-expiring put-options bought before the release of a report to spur more selling by underwriters cufflinks shirts zara.
“Shorts have to rely on good research, not trading tricks, to punish a stock,” said Mitts, whose work has led to paid consulting for Farmland and other companies. He has also found other unusual trading patterns, including dozens of cases of “spoofing” and “layering,” illegal trading strategies of placing and canceling orders to create a false impression of demand or supply cufflinks shirts zara. Mitts said, however, that high-frequency traders were probably responsible, not activists..
Prominent activists deny engaging in practices described by Mitts and say they rarely use options. Instead, they would typically borrow stocks and immediately sell them in anticipation of a price drop, so they can buy them back for less and pocket the difference. “I’m sure there are a few anonymous guys out there doing tricky stuff, but it’s not a systemic problem,” Left said cufflinks shirts zara. One smaller short seller said he used put options in conjunction with Seeking Alpha posts to make larger bets given limited capital, but emphasized making unfounded claims could backfire..
“With options you can get totally destroyed,” said the investor, who requested anonymity. “A bad thesis can be debunked almost instantly.”. Activist Insight, which has analyzed hundreds of campaigns, found many cases where target share prices went up, not down. So far Mitts is virtually alone in analyzing trading activity around short campaigns, but his findings have already drawn the attention of a top U.S cufflinks shirts zara. regulator. SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson told Reuters the research was “important” and challenged his agency to “identify folks who are dancing a very fine line between trading and market manipulation.”..