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The options market maker exception to SEC Regulation SHO

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  • Stratmann, Thomas
  • Welborn, John W.

Abstract

Until 2008, options market makers engaged in bona fide market making were exempt from locate and certain close-out requirements for short sales (the “Exception”). This Exception applied only to short sales that qualified as bona fide hedges of options positions that were established before a stock went on the SEC Regulation SHO Threshold List. In this paper we examine the consequences of eliminating this close-out Exception. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that eliminating the Options Market Maker Exception to SEC Regulation SHO reduced the incentive to naked short sell stocks through the options market. We compare data from the second and fourth quarters of 2008. Consistent with our predictions, we find that eliminating the Exception led to fewer fails-to-deliver and higher stock borrow rates for optionable stocks as compared to non-optionable stocks. Further, removing the Exception reduced fails-to-deliver for optionable stocks when the price of borrowing stock was high. Finally, options market trading volume declined after the Exception was eliminated.

Suggested Citation

  • Stratmann, Thomas & Welborn, John W., 2013. "The options market maker exception to SEC Regulation SHO," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 195-226.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finmar:v:16:y:2013:i:2:p:195-226
    DOI: 10.1016/j.finmar.2012.04.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stratmann, Thomas & Welborn, John W., 2016. "Informed short selling, fails-to-deliver, and abnormal returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 81-102.
    2. Yubin Li & Chen Zhao & Zhaodong Zhong, 2016. "Migrate or not? The effects of regulation SHO on options trading activities," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 113-146, July.
    3. Vinay Patel, 2015. "Price Discovery in US and Australian Stock and Options Markets," PhD Thesis, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney, number 27.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Options market maker; Naked short selling; Securities lending; Regulation SHO; Securities and Exchange Commission;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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