Mensch! Dan McCrum is innocent, ok?

  1. WeWrite-down
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  3. Europe’s digital infrastructure issue
  4. Let’s give a helping hand to Andrew Yang
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  38. Too smooth: the red flag at Patisserie Valerie which was missed
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  40. Sorry Civil, 'crypto-economics' and 'constitutions' won't save journalism
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  104. Atlas bugged
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  123. No entitlement crisis in America
  124. Free cash flow to whom?
  125. Hey crypto bros! Journalism ≠ advertising
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  128. The magic of adjustments: ebitla-dee-da
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  136. No, Facebook should not become a nonprofit
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  139. Amazon is not a bubble
  140. Japan's economic miracle
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  145. No, America would not benefit from authoritarian central planning
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  148. Steinhoff International and the case of Pepkor Global Sourcing
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  150. The “academic’s cryptocurrency” is an elegant waste of time
  151. Cigarettes are the vice America needs
  152. Well that’s one reason to buy yen…
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  157. A State of Mind
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From the venerable German business weekly, WirtschaftsWoche, trying to explain to their readers how shorting works in the stock market. Apols for the clunky Google Translate...

The charge is finely constructed, but for Ehssan Khazaeli everything is clear: BaFin Financial Supervisory Authority prohibits short selling and thus certain bets on a falling stock price of the payment service provider Wirecard. This is an indication that the fall of the DAX share something wrong was not right, says the lawyer of the Berlin law firm Werdermann of males. In addition, Dan McCrum, the “Financial Times” journalist, after whose three articles the price repeatedly collapsed (see chart below), used incorrect words. Thus Wirecard’s office had not been searched, the police had only collected documents. “That makes a wrong impression,” says Khazaeli. Therefore, he has filed with the prosecutor in Munich criminal complaint against the journalist, on behalf of an investor who sees himself harmed. The Financial Times (“FT”) states that any accusation is unfounded...

...Shortseller lend shares to a bank or fund company and sell them. If the price falls as hoped, the shorties buy back the shares cheaper. The difference between the selling price and the buyback price is your profit. At Wirecard, at times, around 14 per cent of the total shares were lent and sold. Since mid-January, before the publication of the first article in the Financial Times, short-selling positions had risen. If a lot of short-sellers sell a share before the publication of price-breaking news, this usually raises doubts. Has anyone punched out information in advance? A short seller supposedly knew when the “FT” would publish the article with allegations against Wirecard. He should have said that the prosecutor Munich.

It seems to have become received wisdom in Germany that speculators were laying large bets against Wirecard in anticipation of critical reporting by the FT. But it's just not true.

Here's Wirecard short interest over past year or so. The vertical line is January 30, when the FT published this, revealing the existence of an internal presentation pointing to possible falsification of accounts at Wirecard.

Sharp-eyed readers will note that while short interest in Wirecard was very low by historical standards in the months leading up to the FT's publication, there was indeed a small increase towards the end of January. This was consistent with a 23 per cent rally in Wirecard's share price during the last two weeks of January. A few market speculators clearly believed the price was over-cooked ahead of figures due at the end of the month.

Short interest then exploded higher after the FT article appeared. This reflected a belief in the market that the FT's reporting was fair and accurate.

Now consider the share price action in Wirecard on January 30 itself.

That slump, from 162 euros to 140 euros, comes after publication of the allegations, not before.

There was no manipulation. Neither Dan McCrum nor Stefania Palma have been in league with locust hedge funds or any other evil short sellers.

So the next time you see some abusive Tweet like this one, have a proper look at the account. Consider how often and how recently it's been tweeting, and on which subjects.

Then have a little think about who might be doing the manipulating here.

And if you haven't yet read Dan and Stefania's detailed account of what looks to have been going on at Wirecard, do so now. It's free to read here.

Oh, and read the FT's statement on the matter.

  1. WeWrite-down
  2. No deal Brexit is not a hedge fund conspiracy
  3. Europe’s digital infrastructure issue
  4. Let’s give a helping hand to Andrew Yang
  5. Anatomy of a malware scam
  6. ARK Invest’s Tesla model gathers dust
  7. A delirious defence of Uber
  8. WeLiquid: Adam Neumann pockets $700m
  9. Yesterday, in efficient markets
  10. The warm fuzzy feeling of indirectly owning Tencent
  11. The best of Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas
  12. Apple/Tesla: M&A and heartbreak
  13. Did Beyonce make $300m from Uber's IPO?
  14. Bitcoin is the 10-year Treasury of our time
  15. High resolution music is a solution looking for a problem
  16. Amazon is furious about this negative review
  17. Missing: $500bn of American savings
  18. Blockchain for Brexit: a wonderfully terrible idea
  19. The Bank of Hodlers [sic] (sigh)
  20. Behind the curtain at China Ding Yi Feng
  21. An answer to Mark Cuban's question
  22. Crumbs! It's CRYPTO: the movie!
  23. National Beverage Corp loses its fizz, and its mind
  24. Amazon won't spin-off Amazon Web Services
  25. Europe's $1 trillion tax gap
  26. Why online propaganda mobs are an investment red flag
  27. Davos has produced an amazing new guide on precisely how not to think about risk
  28. When the public relations industry does PR for itself
  29. Who wants to be crippled by student debt?
  30. The bitcoin price is wrong
  31. The warm fuzzy feeling of Goldman debt
  32. “Cryptoassets” are crashing again. Is it time to start calling them cryptoliabilities instead?
  33. Puff the tragic cryptowagon smokes out the Mumsnet demographic
  34. Don't write off the public sector
  35. Initiative Q: an elementary pyramid scheme with grandiose ideas [Update]
  36. Moral investments aren't outperforming
  37. No one is killing it in crypto (not even Woz)
  38. Too smooth: the red flag at Patisserie Valerie which was missed
  39. No, the housing crisis will not be solved by building more homes
  40. Sorry Civil, 'crypto-economics' and 'constitutions' won't save journalism
  41. 'Short-termism' isn't a thing, say Fed economists
  42. Coinbase wants to be “too big to fail”, lol
  43. Regulation and innovation don't have to be enemies
  44. Retailers get so lonely around the holidays
  45. Folli Follie: $1bn of fake sales, and what to learn from the debacle
  46. The new green evangelism
  47. Tilray, how low can it go?
  48. The ICO behind the tragic Everest stunt is now “airdropping” tokens from rockets
  49. Beware the Hindenburg Omen?
  50. The broken conversation about financial regulation
  51. The improbably profitable, loss-making Blue Prism
  52. The EM rout is not made in America
  53. Wages and growth and honestly we just give up
  54. Britain's first blockchain-enabled co-working space isn't blockchain-enabled
  55. There is a FIRE that never goes out
  56. The WeWork Garden of Eden
  57. IQE: lumpy 'Apple' sauce at the pricey Cardiff chip shop
  58. There's only so much a central bank can do alone
  59. Eight questions every first-time buyer should ask
  60. MiFID II: not all doom and gloom
  61. Tesla: getting to Q3 profitability
  62. Turkey contagion fears are overblown [Update]
  63. The chance of an inflation shock may be higher than you think
  64. Sorry Tim, the humanity is not being drained out of music
  65. Digital crop circles
  66. What could go wrong here?
  67. Sirius Minerals: money for a hole in the ground
  68. The Bank of England has a strange idea of what QE achieved
  69. One for the ladies...
  70. 'Of course, many ridiculous papers appeared'
  71. Is a change goin' to come?
  72. The capacity's not there yet (and probably never will be)
  73. Musk and Tesla are not inseparable
  74. Libraries, from Carnegie to Bezos
  75. Crypto & government: from anarchy to amity in the USA
  76. 'I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot sanction this Series B round'
  77. RBC, through the FANG barrier
  78. Self-help to buy
  79. CFA: Chartered crypto analysts -- updated
  80. The Netflix dilemma -- updated
  81. Fujitsu's new blockchain offering: really cheap or really expensive?
  82. Nothing But the Shirt on Your Back
  83. Universities of Britain: cosying up to crypto is a bad look
  84. How to make a living in the cult of meritocracy
  85. Spotify: Drake-oil salesmen
  86. Oh, the digital humanity
  87. Sports are not markets, predictions ain't investment
  88. Spot the difference, Steinhoff edition
  89. Larry Robbins, a cautionary tale
  90. The node to serfdom
  91. Carney is down with the crypto kids
  92. Samsonite: inventory, excess baggage, and unresolved questions
  93. It might be a long wait for “the equivalent alternative to ICOs”
  94. Don't blame it on the sunshine
  95. In corporate America, brands develop you
  96. One in ten dollars of US housing were anonymous
  97. Should AT&T worry more about its debt?
  98. Who cares if Elon is incinerating capital?
  99. Let’s not try make 'crypto chicks' a thing
  100. Tokens all the way down
  101. Eight-dimensional chess with Elon Musk
  102. A lopsided trade is a good trade, Italian inflation edition
  103. How to buy Italian fire insurance
  104. Atlas bugged
  105. Inflating inflation
  106. Crypto's most devout believers are suffering a crisis of faith
  107. Plus500: past performance is no guide to the future
  108. Noble rot in a shrinking Harbour
  109. In defence of ticket touts
  110. Please don't tell individual investors to buy leveraged loans
  111. RIB Software: the unicorn rainy-day fund
  112. Retail is not dead
  113. Did Soros really give Tesla a “vote of confidence”?
  114. At a crypto conference in New York, it feels like 2017 all over again
  115. Egregious expectations - Intelsat edition
  116. Bitcoin cash is expanding into the void
  117. Stop getting The Flintstones wrong
  118. Bond investors do not care if Argentina is solvent in 100 years
  119. Ubiquiti Networks: of cash and borrowed time
  120. “We're very disappointed in you, Spotify”
  121. 'Sex redistribution' and the means of reproduction
  122. Tesla probably needs to raise capital this year
  123. No entitlement crisis in America
  124. Free cash flow to whom?
  125. Hey crypto bros! Journalism ≠ advertising
  126. Human capital and the jobs guarantee
  127. This is a tech bubble, when's the crash?
  128. The magic of adjustments: ebitla-dee-da
  129. FUD, inglorious FUD
  130. A complex analysis reaches same conclusion as simple one: hedge funds suck
  131. The jobs guarantee and human-capital “nationalisation”
  132. These hedge fund numbers can't be right
  133. The Vomiting Camel has escaped from Bitcoin zoo
  134. Lies, damn lies, and charticles
  135. The world doesn't need more Elon Musks
  136. No, Facebook should not become a nonprofit
  137. Sell all crypto and abandon all blockchain
  138. Immutable ledgers meet European data protection
  139. Amazon is not a bubble
  140. Japan's economic miracle
  141. Have you ever meta crypto joke you didn't like?
  142. Delaware should change its rules to let the light in
  143. Who needs the labels anyway?
  144. Baby Boomers want your family to finance a larger share of their retirement
  145. No, America would not benefit from authoritarian central planning
  146. No one needs to buy Tesla
  147. How to win a debate in the cult of meritocracy
  148. Steinhoff International and the case of Pepkor Global Sourcing
  149. Sorry Jack, Bitcoin will not become the global currency
  150. The “academic’s cryptocurrency” is an elegant waste of time
  151. Cigarettes are the vice America needs
  152. Well that’s one reason to buy yen…
  153. Musicians, don't just blame the labels for your lack of dough
  154. Giving stock away to staff doesn't absolve share buybacks
  155. A penny for Macpherson’s thoughts on the nominal anchor
  156. Monopoly and its discontents
  157. A State of Mind
  158. America is not the least protectionist country in the world
  159. This is nuts, when does Netflix crash?
  160. No Bloomberg, the world's richest people did not lose $114bn...
  161. Someone is wrong on the internet, government employee pensions and passive investing edition
  162. Someone is wrong on the internet, possibly fragile
  163. Someone is wrong on the internet, consumer financial regulation edition
  164. Someone is wrong on the internet: tontine tokens [Update]
  165. Someone is wrong on the internet, road economics edition
  166. Someone is wrong on the internet, wages and the stock market edition
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