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Large Investors, Price Manipulation, and Limits to Arbitrage: An Anatomy of Market Corners

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  • Franklin Allen
  • Lubomir Litov
  • Jianping Mei

Abstract

Corners were prevalent in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. We first develop a rational expectations model of corners and show that they can arise as the result of rational behavior. Then, using a novel hand-collected data set, we investigate price and trading behavior around several well-known stock market and commodity corners which occurred between 1863 and 1980. We find strong evidence that large investors and corporate insiders possess market power that allows them to manipulate prices. Manipulation leading to a market corner tends to increase market volatility and has an adverse price impact on other assets. We also find that the presence of large investors makes it risky for would-be short sellers to trade against the mispricing. Therefore, regulators and exchanges need to be concerned about ensuring that corners do not take place since they are accompanied by severe price distortions. Copyright Oxford University Press Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Franklin Allen & Lubomir Litov & Jianping Mei, 2006. "Large Investors, Price Manipulation, and Limits to Arbitrage: An Anatomy of Market Corners," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 10(4), pages 645-693, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revfin:v:10:y:2006:i:4:p:645-693 DOI: 10.1007/s10679-006-9008-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Quinn, William, 2016. "Squeezing the bears: Cornering risk and limits on arbitrage during the 'British Bicycle Mania', 1896-1898," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2016-05, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    2. Junjie Wang & Shuigeng Zhou & Jihong Guan, 2011. "Detecting Collusive Cliques in Futures Markets Based on Trading Behaviors from Real Data," Papers 1110.1522, arXiv.org.
    3. Werner, Richard A., 2014. "Enhanced Debt Management: Solving the eurozone crisis by linking debt management with fiscal and monetary policy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(PB), pages 443-469.
    4. Yu Huang & Yao Cheng, 2015. "Stock manipulation and its effects: pump and dump versus stabilization," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 791-815, May.
    5. Ackert, Lucy F. & Jiang, Lei & Lee, Hoan Soo & Liu, Jie, 2016. "Influential investors in online stock forums," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 39-46.
    6. Ke Liu & Kin Lai & Jerome Yen & Qing Zhu, 2015. "A Model of Stock Manipulation Ramping Tricks," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 135-150, January.
    7. Itzhak Ben-David & Francesco Franzoni & Augustin Landier & Rabih Moussawi, 2013. "Do Hedge Funds Manipulate Stock Prices?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(6), pages 2383-2434, December.
    8. Michael Aitken & Frederick Harris & Shan Ji, 2015. "A Worldwide Examination of Exchange Market Quality: Greater Integrity Increases Market Efficiency," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 147-170, November.
    9. Peck, James, 2014. "A battle of informed traders and the market game foundations for rational expectations equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 153-173.
    10. M. Punniyamoorthy & Jose Joy Thoppan, 2012. "Detection of stock price manipulation using quadratic discriminant analysis," International Journal of Financial Services Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(4), pages 369-388.
    11. Comerton-Forde, Carole & Putnins, Talis J., 2011. "Measuring closing price manipulation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 135-158, April.
    12. Imisiker, Serkan & Tas, Bedri Kamil Onur, 2013. "Which firms are more prone to stock market manipulation?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 119-130.
    13. Tālis J. Putniņš, 2012. "Market Manipulation: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 952-967, December.
    14. Carole Comerton-Forde & Tālis J. Putniņš, 2014. "Stock Price Manipulation: Prevalence and Determinants," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 18(1), pages 23-66.

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