|Formation||1 May 1923|
|Headquarters||New York City, US|
|Defunct American bank|
The group was brought down by massive and blatant naked short selling, as a prelude to the take down of Lehman Brothers. On March 11, 2008, a buyer whose identity has never been publicly revealed negotiatated a special purchase of $1.7 million of very short term put options for Bear Stearns, which was so unusual as to make news coverage at the time. One commentator described as "not even on the page of rational behavior unless you know something". Ten days later, those options were worth over $270 million. In the week of March 10, 2008, the fails-to-deliver increased by a factor of over 100.
The official narrative about this even is unclear: on March 20th Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC was investigating, but an August report from Reuters states that "The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission declined to comment on whether it was examining options trading in the days before Bear Stearns collapsed." Wikipedia as of December 2015 noted that "A study by finance researchers at the University of Oklahoma Price College of Business studied trading in financial stocks, including Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and found "no evidence that stock price declines were caused by naked short selling."
- History of Greed: Financial Fraud from Tulip Mania to Bernie Madoff by David E. Y. Sarna 2010 ISBN 978-0-470-60180-8 Chapter 10: Market Manipulation