Sunday, October 12, 2008

Staggard Horizon

I consider the short ban on short selling a failure. The ban created an event horizon and that event horizon dominated trading for several days.

This post lists two elements needed to make a short ban work.

The biggest problem with the 2008 ban is that it created an event horizon. Everyone knew that the ban would end at a given time. This softened buying prior to the event horizon. It also created an opportunity for manipulators to hit the stock with twice the venom after the ban.

To stop the creation of an event horizon, the end of the ban must be staggard.

The reason for the ban is to prevent stock manipulation. Manipulation happens in the absence of real data about a company. Manipulation tends to happen in the ladder half of a quarter and tends to stop just prior to a company's quarter report. The 2008 ban ended a good two weeks before quarterly reporting started to hit the scene.

The second step to making a short ban work is to time the end of the ban with the quarterly report.

As quarterly reports tend to be staggard, you could pretty much stagger the end of the ban with the reporting cycle.

1 comment:

y-intercept said...

NOTE, I almost wrote in the post that the ban accomplished the opposite of what the Feds desired.

Then I realized, I don't know what the Feds desired. Surely they knew they were creating an artificial event horizon.

What we have is a market where people are trying to guess the games of the players and not one that is actively seeking to value the securities.