What’s Naked Short-Selling? Matt Taibbi explains the swindle that brought down Bear Stearns

In “Wall Street’s Naked Swindle” in Rolling Stone’s new issue, Matt Taibbi examines how a scheme to flood the market with counterfeit stocks helped kill Bears Stearns and Lehman Brothers — and the feds have yet to bust the culprits. The scheme that helped do in two of the five major investment banks in the U.S. is known as naked short-selling — the sale of shares you don’t have or won’t deliver. Normal short-selling, however, is legal and good for the market: it lets investors bet against companies that they believe will decrease in value.

To help explain his story, Taibbi heads to the white board and breaks down the differences between the two: click above to watch him explain short-selling (our buyer: Wilford Brimley, broker: Count Chocula, short-seller: Hervé Villechaize), and below for a discussion of its evil twin, naked short-selling. — Rolling Stone

For more on naked short-selling, see Caught On Tape: A Naked Swindle.

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  • radiac

    I still dont really get it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/stockshockmovie Richard Keane

    Secret Software & Naked Short Selling
    We need NSS arrests – not Insider Trading arrests
    It is November 5th, 2009 at high noon and the SEC is all over the news about another arrest. They are all on stage giving this big press conference on 14 arrests for Insider Trading connected to the Galleon Group investigation. Is it Insider Trading? The Government wanted the world to believe this caused the financial meltdown on Wall Street. Three weeks earlier the SEC made the first arrest for Insider Trading involving Raj Rajaratnam and 5 other people on Wall Street.
    It is my opinion that the Government and the SEC is involved in a cover up to try and make people think that it was insider trading that caused the crisis of 2008. Let the truth be known. The news media, along with Goldman Sachs and many other Wall Street companies and people of power are all involved in the biggest cover up in the history of the United States. It involves greed to the fullest extend. The SEC is responsible, under the leadership of Christopher Cox in July 2007, the Securities Exchange Commission abolished the Up Tick rule. The elimination of the Up Tick rule created a wave of corruption that grew out of control, based on Naked Short Selling and the use of secret software and super fast computers.
    Insider trading has played a role in the financial crisis, yet the story not being told by the news media is the arrest of a Goldman Sachs employee who tried to steal Goldman Sachs secret software. This arrest came over the July 4th Holiday week-end and was aired briefly on a Saturday night on TV and then came Monday July 6th, 2009 and the story disapeared. A few weeks later Goldman Sachs reported its FY 2009 2nd QT earnings ( April – May -June ) and Goldman Sachs made over $100 million dollars a day in 46 of the 64 trading days for that quarter. How could this be possible after a 17 month recession. Wall Street changed two major Laws. The first being the use of decimal places (2001 )instead of fraction. Years later and after they lobbied for the removal of the Up Tick rule ( 2007 ) the secret software was designed and in place ready to go into full operation now that Wall Street was allowed to naked short sell millions upon millions of shares that Goldman Sachs and other hedge funds didn’t even own and failed to deliver. Their greed took over, who wouldn’t , when Goldman Sachs was making over $100 million a day in trading. They destroyed companies like Sirius XM radio and overstock.com and many others. Then they began naked shorting the banking industry and attacking each other.
    This is the truth that the news media, corporate Amercia, the SEC, the Government, Goldman Sachs, Hank Paulson and the many others that were in power have not told the American people and the world. Now, as I write this letter, they are now trying to con the world into thinking it was insider trading that caused 95% of the middle class workers to lose 20% – 60 % of their investments and 401K’s.
    In the end the Entire story will be told and I hope I get my chance to tell it. Check the facts. There was an arrest of that Goldman Sachs employee in July 2009. Why was it covered up? Where are the arrests for Naked Short Selling and Goldman Sachs use of their secret software that stole the wealth off investors all across the country. It will go down as the biggest scandal in history.
    Richard Keane
    Nov 7th, 2009

  • http://www.twitter.com/stockshockmovie Richard Keane

    Secret Software & Naked Short Selling
    We need NSS arrests – not Insider Trading arrests
    It is November 5th, 2009 at high noon and the SEC is all over the news about another arrest. They are all on stage giving this big press conference on 14 arrests for Insider Trading connected to the Galleon Group investigation. Is it Insider Trading? The Government wanted the world to believe this caused the financial meltdown on Wall Street. Three weeks earlier the SEC made the first arrest for Insider Trading involving Raj Rajaratnam and 5 other people on Wall Street.
    It is my opinion that the Government and the SEC is involved in a cover up to try and make people think that it was insider trading that caused the crisis of 2008. Let the truth be known. The news media, along with Goldman Sachs and many other Wall Street companies and people of power are all involved in the biggest cover up in the history of the United States. It involves greed to the fullest extend. The SEC is responsible, under the leadership of Christopher Cox in July 2007, the Securities Exchange Commission abolished the Up Tick rule. The elimination of the Up Tick rule created a wave of corruption that grew out of control, based on Naked Short Selling and the use of secret software and super fast computers.
    Insider trading has played a role in the financial crisis, yet the story not being told by the news media is the arrest of a Goldman Sachs employee who tried to steal Goldman Sachs secret software. This arrest came over the July 4th Holiday week-end and was aired briefly on a Saturday night on TV and then came Monday July 6th, 2009 and the story disapeared. A few weeks later Goldman Sachs reported its FY 2009 2nd QT earnings ( April – May -June ) and Goldman Sachs made over $100 million dollars a day in 46 of the 64 trading days for that quarter. How could this be possible after a 17 month recession. Wall Street changed two major Laws. The first being the use of decimal places (2001 )instead of fraction. Years later and after they lobbied for the removal of the Up Tick rule ( 2007 ) the secret software was designed and in place ready to go into full operation now that Wall Street was allowed to naked short sell millions upon millions of shares that Goldman Sachs and other hedge funds didn’t even own and failed to deliver. Their greed took over, who wouldn’t , when Goldman Sachs was making over $100 million a day in trading. They destroyed companies like Sirius XM radio and overstock.com and many others. Then they began naked shorting the banking industry and attacking each other.
    This is the truth that the news media, corporate Amercia, the SEC, the Government, Goldman Sachs, Hank Paulson and the many others that were in power have not told the American people and the world. Now, as I write this letter, they are now trying to con the world into thinking it was insider trading that caused 95% of the middle class workers to lose 20% – 60 % of their investments and 401K’s.
    In the end the Entire story will be told and I hope I get my chance to tell it. Check the facts. There was an arrest of that Goldman Sachs employee in July 2009. Why was it covered up? Where are the arrests for Naked Short Selling and Goldman Sachs use of their secret software that stole the wealth off investors all across the country. It will go down as the biggest scandal in history.
    Richard Keane
    Nov 7th, 2009