So the SEC today lifted its ban on short-selling, and all but declared open season for law-breaking naked short sellers to start destroying companies again – and who does CNBC have on for two hours as its honored “guest host”?
None other than Jim Chanos, the salamander-slick director of the short-seller lobby.
Asked about naked short selling, Chanos said, with a straight face: “Anytime a hedge fund or short seller shorts a stock, it is a legitimate short. We have to get a locate or pre-borrow from the broker….”
Chanos continued: “The one thing I have in common with Patrick Byrne, chairman of Overstock.com [and Deep Capture reporter], is that we are calling for strict, strict delivery…in terms of delivering shares…that is how to end this naked short selling…”
CNBC, which serves as a sort of seedy massage parlor to the short selling community, gave Chanos the usual treatment – lubrications and sweet nothings. No tough questions. No retorts to his outlandish assertions. No wondering aloud as to his absurd and self-serving logic.
Let’s get this straight.
Not long ago, Chanos insisted that naked short selling did not occur.
Now, he says naked short selling occurs. But it’s not short sellers who are naked short selling. Short sellers make sure their brokers borrow real stock before they sell it.
In any case, Chanos acknowledges that short sellers’ brokers are not borrowing real stock before they sell it. That is why they are not delivering the stock. And that is why he claims to agree with Patrick Byrne that there needs to be “strict, strict delivery.”
But Chanos is against a ban on naked short selling (which would force short sellers to borrow real stock, thus ensuring delivery). Chanos says that a ban on naked short selling would destroy “market efficiency.”
So, to summarize the Chanos position: Naked short selling didn’t occur, but now it occurs, except short sellers don’t do it, and the SEC shouldn’t ban it because the market would cease to function properly if short sellers were forced to stop doing what they don’t do.
And given that so many shares are failing to deliver (after being sold naked by short sellers who never sell naked), Chanos is calling for “strict, strict delivery” of stock (while praising the SEC for its “strict” new rules which stipulate that nothing happens to short sellers who fail to deliver stock).
CNBC treated us this morning to two hours of Chanos nonsense. At one point this charlatan even insisted that short sellers aren’t short selling financial stocks at all. Really, he said short sellers aren’t short selling. Period. Take his word for it. CNBC did.
That was around 7:30 AM, right after CNBC’s Becky Quick referred to Chanos as “the legendary short seller….er, investor.”
At 9:30 AM, the markets opened and the criminal naked short sellers…er, investors…went back to work, unfettered by the SEC’s “strict” new rules.
Within an hour, Morgan Stanley was down 25%.
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