I was forwarded this email:
Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 22:43:49 EDT From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: undisclosed-recipients: ; Subject: If you invest in stocks, listen to this...from Bobby K. Turn up your volume and set aside about 10 minutes to listen to this. Theres a crack in the system whereby people can create bullshit shares of stock and sell it, where in essense creating more shares than there should be and driving a companies stock down and eventually destroying the company. Ive known about this for awhile and so have politicians, however, if they tried to fix it, the entire financial system of the U.S. would collapse. Ive always said that the stock market crash we saw in 2000 that wiped out alot of people would be a walk in the park compared to the next one that will happen. I think within the next 1-3 years the topic of these bullshit "phantom" shares will be the big one that will be the biggest hit the stock market has ever seen. Dont paic, just be careful. The stock market is done. The crooks have made billions in the last 60 years in the stock market and i think the shit will hit the fan soon. Listen... http://www.ultimateuploads.com/audio/view.php?play=10aa902b7bb9763edd29058fb220e350
I wrote the following response before listening to the audio. I should have guessed that it was the Overstock dude.
The CEO of Overstock.com bitches about naked shorts a lot. Read http://jeffmatthewsisnotmakingthisup.blogspot.com/. Mark Cuban talks about it on his blog sometimes too. There was also a 60 minutes story about it, but it wasn't very good as Leslie Stahl is about as financially literate as a chihuahua. While it's fraudulent to sell something that doesn't exist, the purchaser of a share of stock is the one who would have a complaint if he were unable to take delivery of said share. The CEOs who bitch about it are the ones whose compensation is in the form of stock options. If they were speaking on behalf of the company, they should be delighted that people are driving down the stock price. The company can buy back its shares cheaply enriching the existing shareholders. Imagine a company that sells 1,000,000 shares at $10/share during an IPO. If short sellers drive down the stock to $1/share, and the company can buy back all of its shares, it makes $9,000,000 without giving up any equity (neglecting underwriting fees and the upward movement of the stock price as the company starts to buy back a lot of shares). Likewise, if you're a shareholder, and you think the stock is undervalued at $1, you can buy more stock and wait for the profits to come rolling in. If your company isn't making any money, and you expect to make money on the stock, well, too bad. xn
The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat