Stop Predatory Short Selling: A Call for Ethical and Fair Trading Practices in Financial Markets


In the dynamic landscape of financial markets, the practice of short selling, particularly its aggressive form known as naked short selling, has been a subject of intense debate. While short selling is a legitimate strategy where shares are borrowed and sold in anticipation of a price drop, naked short selling often veers into market manipulation, adversely affecting stock prices and investor confidence.

Understanding Short Selling and Its Impact

Short Selling Mechanics: The process involves borrowing stock shares, selling them at the current market price, and later repurchasing them at a lower price. This strategy, though legal, comes with unlimited risk and significant interest costs on borrowed stocks.

Predatory Short Selling: More aggressive and potentially manipulative, this practice disproportionately affects smaller entities, particularly in sectors like junior mining. It includes tactics like last-minute stock sales to manipulate closing prices, often leading to broader market repercussions.

Regulatory Responses and Market Evolution

In response to deceptive market practices, various regulatory bodies have stepped in:

  • The Ontario Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce in Canada has recommended banning misleading statements about public companies.
  • The removal of the “tick test” rule by IIROC and CSA has led to increased short selling activities, impacting junior markets and sparking calls for regulatory reforms.

Power Nickel Inc. (TSXV: PNPN | OTCQB: PNPNF): Planning to file a complaint about potential illegal short selling of its shares, highlighting market imbalances and suspected naked short selling.

Federal District Court Ruling: A recent U.S. ruling emphasized the responsibility of broker-dealers in preventing manipulative trading, signaling a shift towards stricter regulation.

The Risks of Naked Short Selling

Naked short selling, where shares are sold without being borrowed or confirmed to exist, is illegal but persists due to regulatory loopholes. This practice claims to provide liquidity in options markets but can lead to exploitative practices and market manipulation.

The Role of Financial Institutions and Regulatory Gaps

Financial institutions and broker-dealers often play a crucial role in facilitating illegal naked short selling. Recent legal developments have highlighted their accountability in preventing such practices, marking a significant step towards protecting retail investors from fraud.

Call for Action

Save Canadian Mining, a movement advocating for fair market rules, urges the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) to re-evaluate the re-institution of the tick test to safeguard Canada’s junior markets. They argue that the lack of this rule has been detrimental to the market’s integrity and fairness.


The complexities of predatory and naked short selling present significant ethical dilemmas in finance. These practices, while potentially profitable, often lead to market manipulation and unfair trading scenarios. Traders and investors need to approach these strategies with caution, understanding the inherent risks and ethical considerations. This comprehensive exploration, enriched with expert insights, underscores the importance of informed, ethical trading in today’s financial markets.

This article aims to shed light on the intricate and often controversial world of short selling, particularly its more manipulative forms. It highlights the need for vigilant regulation and ethical practices in the financial markets to ensure fair and transparent trading.

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