Spain has crossed the rubicon, and entered into bad decision nirvana as it too decided to ban short selling, which has worked so well for all of those other smart countries which have done so. For instance, when the US did it in 2008, they helped their bank's shares float to the tune of -48%! Hey, with friends like that, who needs enemies. When will they learn that tempering/tampering with financial markets is not ever as good as it sounds. Keep in mind that short sales put a natural floor under weak securities by creating natural sellers at the end or a trade (whether the trade is successful or not). If the stock is truly overvalued (hear's to you European banks), then the shares are going to drop anyway as the holders of those shares sell to get out of them. Without shorts, there will be no buying on the way down as speculators and astute investors cover profitable short sales and the only bids you will get are at rock bottom where fundamental guys feel there "deals that can't be refused" (except for the occasional BTFD fools along the way). That is usually a bid that's much higher than would have been achieved through the short sale. Of course, nobody explained this to the Spanish.
An additional issue is that the banning of short selling broadcasts a message that Spain should want to mute, and that is the message of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt)! Why else would one make the normally legal and necessary action of selling bad stocks illegal? Fear of the facts! Of course, as word gets out it just makes situations that much worse...
Spain's stock market regulator banned short-selling on all Spanish securities on Monday for three months and said it may extend the ban beyond October 23.
The ban, which will not apply to market makers, will apply to any operation on stocks or indexes, including cash operations, derivatives traded on platforms as well as OTC derivatives, the regulator said in a statement.
European shares extended their losses following the move by Spain, which raised fears that the region's sovereign debt and banking crisis may be worse than expected.
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