Naked Shorting


In finance, a short sale is the sale of an asset that the seller does not own. The seller effects such a sale by borrowing the asset in order to deliver it to the buyer. Subsequently, the resulting short position is “covered” when the seller repurchases the asset in a market transaction and delivers the purchased asset to the lender to replace the quantity initially borrowed. In the event of an interim price decline, the short seller will profit, since the cost ofpurchase will be less than the proceeds received upon the initial sale. Conversely, the short position will result in a loss if the price of a shorted instrument rises prior to repurchase.

Naked Shorting

What is ‘Naked Shorting’

Naked shorting is the illegal practice of short selling shares that have not been affirmatively determined to exist. Ordinarily, traders must borrow a stock, or determine that it can be borrowed, before they sell it short. Due to various loopholes in the rules, and discrepancies between paper and electronic trading systems, naked shorting continues to happen.

Explaining ‘Naked Shorting’

With naked shorting, an investor sells shorts associated with shares that they do not possess and have not confirmed their ability to possess. If the trade associated with the short needs to take place in order to fulfill the obligations of the position, the trade may fail to complete within the required clearing time because the seller does not actually have access to the share. The technique is seen as very high risk, regardless of its associated legal entanglements, but has the potential to yield high rewards.

Naked Shorting and Liquidity

Naked shorting can affect the liquidity of a particular security within the marketplace. In cases in which a particular share is not readily available, naked short selling allows a person to participate within the associated activity even though they are unable to actually obtain a share. If additional investors become interested in the shares associated with the shorting, this can cause an increase in liquidity associated with the shares as demand within the marketplace increases.

Regulation Regarding Naked Shorting

The practice of naked short selling was banned within the United States in 2008 after the financial crisis of 2007/2008, as such activities contributed to the downward economic trend by allowing manipulators a chance to force stock prices down without regard for normal stock supply/demand patterns. The ban applies to naked shorting only and not to other short-selling activities.

Naked Shorting FAQ

Can short selling be banned?

In 2008, U.S. regulators restricted the short-selling of financial stocks. This was done to prevent the act from helping to drive the precarious drop in stock prices during the worldwide crisis. Although another glance at the impacts of such limitations challenges the idea that short deals compound market slumps along these lines.

Is shorting penny stocks illegal?

Shorting penny stocks isn’t unlawful. It’s a method to bring in cash when a stock’s prices are declining however borrowing shares from a broker and covering your position when the value begins to move back up.

Is short selling legal in US?

Short selling stays lawful in most securities markets. Unlike naked short selling, which is shorting without having first borrowed the shares. At the point when markets turn sour, governments and regulators once in a while forces limitation with an end goal of helping to stem the slide.

Why banning short selling is a bad idea?

Regulators may at times force prohibitions on short sales in a particular area or even in the entire market to prevent panic and inappropriate selling pressure. Such activities can cause an abrupt spike in stock costs, driving the short seller to cover short situations at tremendous losses.

Further Reading