Finance: What are short cover and squeezing the shorts?

What is short covering and squeezing the shorts? Hit play to find out.

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Transcript

00:25

hundred million shares and averages trading of three million shares a day

00:29

well there's a big hedge fund that's convinced the company's cancer curing [Woman gulps a pill]

00:33

drug will actually only turn the users toenails bright green and all of this

00:38

will come to light soon the stock will sell off big so they shortened short and

00:43

short recall that short selling is when an investor borrows stock betting that

00:48

the stock will go down in price and then sells it so yeah that's how it works

00:52

they essentially borrow securities from the brokerage with whom they've set up [Stock transfers from brokerage to hedge fund]

00:56

the short selling arrangement those shares get sold at whatever price

01:00

they're trading out at the time that the short sales happen the hedge fund then

01:03

waits until the stock falls to its target price hoping that it actually [Cancer B Gone stock price falls]

01:08

falls and doesn't go the wrong way at which point it then buys back the stock

01:12

more cheaply delivering it back to the brokerage and booking what is you know

01:16

hopefully a hefty profit right so they'd shorted it a hundred and then it falls

01:20

to 80 and they buy it back and make twenty bucks a share but things don't

01:23

always work out according to the best laid plans of hedge funders and men so

01:27

cancer begun stock climbs despite the hedge fund having bet that it would go [Cancer B Gone stock increases]

01:32

down well in horror the hedge fund watches as the stock climbs from 80 to

01:37

82 to 85 to 90 with the fund all the more sure it's worth 10 bucks a share

01:42

after continued shorting of more and more and more shares betting on the [People in meeting looking unhappy]

01:46

downfall of cancer be gone while the hedge fund wakes up in more horror one

01:51

morning to read the cover The Wall Street Journal which says the drug [Man reading newspaper]

01:54

actually works so the CBG shoots suddenly to $200 the

01:59

next moment leaving the hedge fund now with an average short sale price of

02:03

around 85 bucks a share the hedge fund is $115 a share in losses now that's per

02:09

share times the 10 million in shares it shorted and remember it

02:13

only trades 3 million a day on an average day that's three days and change

02:17

of short position on this stock the loss on this short has wiped out all the

02:21

games for the year of the hedge fund and worse the stock now has virtually [Stock price rises]

02:25

unlimited upside as cancer curing you know is a thing

02:30

so the hedge fund is squeezed why squeezed well it's short position is [Man squeezes hedge fund water bomb and it pops]

02:35

squeezed because now it absolutely has to buy back the shares at the $200 plus

02:41

price and it has to buy him back because the odds of this stock Falls or goes

02:45

down with all the positive headlines coming from journalists all around the

02:49

world about cancer being cured well pretty low right stock probably going to

02:53

300 400 who knows but it's going up so the hedge fund will have to capitulate [Man giving speech on stage]

02:56

that it was wrong in shorting in the first place and all of its competitors

03:00

know this fact as they carefully track the short position on the stock noting

03:05

that some 50 percent of the hundred million total shares or 50 million

03:10

shares that were floating were in fact short enormous short position like this

03:14

one hedge fund wasn't the only one betting it would fall so being the

03:18

kindly loving people that hedge funders are the competitors will be buying the [Competitors give money to brokerage]

03:22

snot out of the stock for a while bidding to 20 to 30 to 40 until enough

03:27

volume and shares transacting passes so that the hedge funds will have covered

03:32

their shorts meaning the guys who shorted it at a hundred bucks have to

03:36

pay to twenty to thirty to forty whatever the price is to unwind their

03:39

shorts before the stock goes the 300 400 500 and bankrupts them that's getting

03:45

squeezed that's how short squeezes work and

03:47

punishes hedge funders for ill-timed bets that are wrong and yeah you don't bet [Hedge funders sitting at a table]

03:53

against a curing cancer at least hopefully not in our world the position

03:56

there in those shorts being SQUOZE is uncomfortable like this uncomfortable [Man in tight pants in a changing room]