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Doing battle with short sellers: The conflicted role of blockholders in bear raids

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  • Khanna, Naveen
  • Mathews, Richmond D.

Abstract

If short sellers can destroy firm value by manipulating prices down, an informed blockholder has a powerful natural incentive to protect the value of his stake by trading against them. However, he also has a potentially conflicting incentive to use his information to generate trading profits. We show that a speculator can exploit this conflict and force the blockholder to buy a disproportionately large amount to prevent value destruction. This is costly for the blockholder because the trades must sometimes be executed at inflated prices. Given reasonable constraints on short sellers, a sufficiently large blockholder will have the incentive to absorb these losses and prevent a bear raid. However, conditions exist under which outside intervention may be warranted.

Suggested Citation

  • Khanna, Naveen & Mathews, Richmond D., 2012. "Doing battle with short sellers: The conflicted role of blockholders in bear raids," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 229-246.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:106:y:2012:i:2:p:229-246
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2012.06.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Martin Oehmke, 2014. "Predatory Short Selling," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 18(6), pages 2153-2195.
    2. Amelia Pais & Philip A. Stork, 2013. "Short-Selling, Leverage and Systemic Risk," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-186/IV/DSF68, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Alex Edmans, 2014. "Blockholders and Corporate Governance," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 23-50, December.
    4. Edmans, Alex & Holderness, Clifford, 2016. "Blockholders: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11442, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Speculation; Short selling; Regulation; Manipulation; Bear raids;

    JEL classification:

    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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