I believe Naked shorting has allowed GameStop’s circulating shares to number above 1 Billion, with a minimum short interest percent of float to be 2000%. Thus, it can also be concluded retail likely owns upwards of 500 million shares and the financial impact is likely upwards of $100 trillion. DTCC came to this same conclusion around mid-March and is now actively taking steps to crash the entire market, allowing them to socialize losses to other major players in the market.
This is a thesis argument; thus, it is not financial advice.
This thesis is primarily math and logic-based speculation; thus, it should not be considered as factual.
I hope that by sharing these thesis:
Apes will gain useful insights.
Progress the knowledge within our community.
It can serve as some entertainment and dat sweet confirmation bias porn we all love.
Most importantly, the community can review and critique this argument allowing major holes in the logic to be discovered and the thesis altered as necessary.
For my own protection, I am using a burner Reddit account and a VPN to post. I will only be logging onto this account sporadically, but I will be watching this thread very carefully through my main account. Just know I may not reply to comments or make edits, but I see all.
DD on DTCC
The thesis arguments (yes it takes two sections of BS for me to get to the point)
To begin, a quick summary of the previous 6 months. Since I was not here for most of this, I will briefly summarize the events as I see them in hindsight (with little sprinkles of speculation thrown in).
It starts with two opposing sides that cannot agree to disagree. On the short side, GameStop is viewed as a dying brick and mortar company. Melvin Capital, and many other major players, heavily short GameStop, likely even installing several GameStop board members to guarantee a collapse. However, long players (i.e., retail, RC, Blackrock, etc.) see deep fucking value in GameStop. Using the famed and feared “buy and hold” tactic players on the long side put shorts in serious trouble as they have infinite loss potential. I believe as early as fall 2020, Melvin realized their firm might be on the line. This situation worsened for them in the December and January runup that ultimately was Melvin Capital's death sentence. But everyone works for someone, right? Enter in Citadel…
I suspect sometime in the December and January timeframe Citadel realizes they may be looking at tens to hundreds of billions in losses due to Melvin’s short position. So, what does our boy Ken Griffin decide to do? He takes a calculated risk to reduce the negative impact of Melvin’s short position by allowing a fake “squeeze” to occur causing a retail sell off. With the combined powers of price manipulation, media control, and contacts throughout the financial world (one need only watch the Godfather series to understand the importance of this last one), what could possibly go wrong? Well, some guy who’s not a cat didn’t sell, and apparently he wasn’t alone. Furthermore, GameStop’s situation dominated the media and brought in millions of new retail apes (myself included as I previously had zero experience/interest in stocks). I believe this also had another important effect: Citadel now knew the entire multi-hundred billion dollar firm was on the line and Citadel no longer needed to manage risk.
We see this in sports all the time. When a team is already losing a game, they will often play all out offense because what is the difference between losing by 1, 2, 10, or 50 points? In any of these outcomes, the game is lost. A similar philosophy can be applied to finance since what is the difference between owing $500B, $700B, $1T, or $50T when the firm is only worth $300B? In any of these outcomes, the firm is lost.
Throughout February, I believe we saw the effects of hundreds of millions of naked shorts entering circulation, bringing the price down from about $300 to $40. During this time, we see aggressive media campaigns aimed at distracting potential investors from GameStop and causing investors already long on GameStop to sell (remember silver, weed, RKT, and many more). This game of smoke and mirrors lasts until the middle of March when DTCC can peers into the void and see exactly what the situation is. I think what they saw terrified them, and now they are fighting to not hold the entire bag. Enter in DTCC…
Now we get to the more interesting stuff.
To start, WTF even is DTCC?
Well, let us start with a copy pasta definition that I think I took from Investopedia:
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) is an American post-trade financial services company providing clearing and settlement services to the financial markets. It performs the exchange of securities on behalf of buyers and sellers and functions as a central securities depository by providing central custody of securities.
What does that even mean?!? To answer that the following is taken from “Who Really Owns Your Money?” an article written by Anthony Freed (I will include a link at the end):
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation is the biggest bank in the world that you have probably never heard it. They happen to be the registered owners of 99% of all paper (stocks, bonds, securities, etc.). Scary, but true.
The DTCC retains registered ownership while you as the peasant investor have the designation of beneficiary of the instruments.
This begs the question, WFT is a beneficiary owner vs a registered holder? Taken from the aforementioned article:
REGISTERED HOLDER- A Registered Holder literally possesses, owns, and holds, his stock or bond with his name appearing on the face of the certificate. The company that issued the certificate has registered the owner’s (holder’s) name on their official books. This is the safest way to own a paper asset. You literally possess the fully registered certificate and only you can transfer or sell it. By all Rights and definition of law, you are the owner. You have it, you hold it, you possess it, and you keep it. You have the complete control over it.
BENEFICIAL OWNER- A Beneficial Owner is nothing more than a beneficiary, “One who is entitled to the benefit of a contract”- A Dictionary of Law, 1893. All book-entry stocks and bonds you purchase make you the beneficial owner, not the registered holder. The owner of a book-entry stock or bond is the entity or name that it is registered under.
WTF?!?!?!? Nobody actually owns anything?!?!? That makes no sense! Well, there is a good reason and Freed covers that as well:
And they have a perfectly good reason for it - with electronic trading, it is impossible to make timely changes to registered ownership of the paper.
Ohhhhhh, so in order to speed up transactions, the DTCC was created to keep all the assets of the stock market under one owner, well that makes sense. And surely an organization that is the sole owner of 99% of the stock market would be highly regulated and extremely transparent to insure peace of mind for all beneficiary owners, right? I mean, that must be the case, right??? RIGHT?!?!??!??
Personally, I do not believe this is the case after watching the “The Wall Street Conspiracy” movie that has been posted about previously (I will include a link at the end as I also reference this in multiple locations). My take on the TLDR of that documentary is:
The DTCC is and has always been very loosely regulated, with a history of being culpable regarding naked shorting practices.
Also, this is taken from the DTCC Wikipedia page under a section titled “Controversies” (also contains an interesting final sentence):
Several companies sued DTCC, without success, over delivery failures in their stocks, alleging culpability for naked short selling. Furthermore, the question of whether DTCC is culpable for naked short selling was raised by Senator Robert Bennett and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), and discussed in articles in The Wall Street Journal and Euromoney. DTCC contended that the suits were orchestrated by a small group of lawyers and executives to make money and draw attention from the companies' problems.
Critics blamed DTCC, noting that it is the organization in charge of the system where the naked short selling happens, alleging that DTCC turned a blind eye to the problem, and complaining that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had not taken sufficient action against naked shorting. DTCC responded that it had no authority over trading activities, and could not force buy-ins of shares not delivered, and suggested that naked shorting was simply not widespread enough to be a major concern. The SEC, however, viewed naked shorting as a sufficiently serious matter to have made two separate efforts to restrict the practice. DTCC has said that the SEC has supported its position in legal proceedings.
In July 2007, Senator Bob Bennett, Republican of Utah, suggested on the U.S. Senate floor that the allegations involving DTCC and naked short selling were "serious enough" to warrant a hearing. The Senate Banking Committee's Chairman, Senator Christopher Dodd, indicated he was willing to hold such a hearing. No such hearing was ever held, however. Representing state stock regulators, the NASAA filed a brief in a 2009 suit against DTCC, arguing against federal preemption as a defense to the suit. NASAA said that "if the Investors' claims are taken as true, as they must be on a motion to dismiss, then the entrepreneurs and investors before the Court have been the victims of fraud and manipulation at the hands of the very entities that should be serving their interests by maintaining a fair and efficient national market". The suit was dismissed. Critics also contended that DTCC and the SEC were too secretive with information about where naked shorting was taking place. DTCC said it supported releasing more information to the public.
In recent years this controversy only increased as the reactive effect of Gamestop stock dramatically damaged the DTCC's reputation.
So, you are telling me a single organization that has a history marred with accusations of shady activity is the registered owner of the entire $60T of stock market assets?
And now that I blabbered about the background and DTCC, please allow me to argue for my actual thesis statements.
“Overtime. Eventually. Math and logic will balance the equation. 💎🙌🏼🦍🚀🌝” – u/bebiased
Soooooo, how the hell am I getting 2000% SI as a conservative estimate? Well, it all starts with these daily “glitches”. To add some credibility here, I am degreed in both electrical and computer engineering, so I come from a technical background. Often it is useful to look at complicated puzzles with the “black box” approach. I will make the following assumptions in doing so:
There is significant evidence to support synthetic shares are being created. I don’t give a single fuck how they are being created, just that they are being created.
Citadel is a financial beast with multiple different arms that by law must be firewalled (likely meaning no electronics traffic exists between those arms).
One arm of Citadel might be responsible for creating synthetic shares (might have some connection to the hundreds of millions of shares in darkpools), while another arm is responsible for closing the IOUs.
This transfer of IOUs cannot be done internally within Citadel due to the firewall. Thus, this transfer must hit the open market in some manner. Once again, I don’t give a single fuck how this is happening, just that there is reason to believe it is happening.
Computers are incredibly stupid, but they make up for that with being able to do simple tasks unbelievably quickly and accurately (this is what gives them the illusion of being smart).
Some computer somewhere saw the traffic accounting for the transfer of IOUs and said “I take number from here and put it there”, because that’s what it is programmed to do. It just so happens the place it puts numbers was in TOS, in plain sight of us retail apes.
Diagram to illustrate this argument:
Now that I have presented a theory on how this might be working, let us test this theory against the 94M share “glitch” from February. If my theory is correct, one would expect to see the following:
Unusually high buy pressure in the days after the February 22 glitch.
This buying pressure should continue until roughly 94M volume has been recorded.
So, let us look at the chart and see. Just FYI this is the 4-hour chart.
I don’t know about you, but my confirmation bias just did a six to midnight. In this chart, we see immense buying pressure push the stock from roughly $45 to reconsolidating above $100 after the buying pressure wore off. Furthermore, we see the buying pressure fall off a cliff once 94M total volume is met (with a bit of FOMO into after market). In my opinion, this is too damn convenient to be coincidence.
The Major Counter Argument I See
If there are over 1B shares (and counting) currently waiting to be closed out, why has the price not gone into the 1000s already? While I believe my theory can tell us the number of shorts that need to close, I think it tells us absolutely jack shit about the timing. Also, we have not had stellar success as a community with predicting the timing, so personally, I’m not going to speculate on it.
But what have we seen on the charts since March 23? The average daily volume from March 17-23 is roughly 15M per day (remember that includes a quad witching day). Interestingly, the average daily volume since that 634M “glitch” has been almost 37M. Furthermore, if you look at the price change from close to close the price moved from $181.75 close on March 23 to a $181.00 close on March 26 (interesting that both are right below $182 as this is where the "glitches" have come in at). When looking at the price alone, it is not apparent there was significant buying pressure, but we must also remember what was happening concurrently.
Thus, there was buying pressure coming in from somewhere to cancel out the operational shorting being done on the Russell 2000. I believe the greater than 1B shares waiting to be purchased is the source of this buying pressure.
Summarize Thesis Statement 1
So if I am correct and these “glitches” are giving us an opportunity to see short positions attempting to sneak through the market, I believe we are looking at a running total of roughly 1.2 billion shares. With float being right under 50M, we are looking at (I’ll use 50M and 1B because I’m lazy and prefer speculating on the conservative side):
1,000,000,000 / 50,000,000 = 2000% SI of float at minimum
1,000,000,000 / 70,000,000 = 1429% SI of outstanding shares at minimum
Following DD is a more precise calculation indicating 2654% SI of float
In my opinion, these numbers should not be that surprising when you consider Citadel has likely been operating with zero risk management and I believe Zach had been predicting SI was possibly 900% weeks ago. And that prediction was made with all the information we knew at the time. And oh yeah, remember this?
As history has proven, these financial bubbles are often significantly bigger than anyone realizes before it pops; thus, I consider 2000% SI to be conservative.
And how the fuck did I get to that number? Just hear me out…
To begin, this requires my first thesis to be true (which I give that I reasonably high chance to be the case).
So let’s do some share counting…
The most recent Institutional ownership numbers I saw was 95M shares.
So who owns the other 900M+ shares?
I’m legitimately asking here since I believe this is one of the weakest parts of my entire argument. I’m hoping the comments have some discussion on this.
Since I believe retail is the largest non-reported group of shareholders, I’ll assume retail is likely sitting on 500M shares and chalk the other 400M up to “shit that I don’t know about” (once again I would love feedback here).
While the exact mechanics of a squeeze this size cannot be predicted, I believe it is reasonable to assume 1 billion shares will have to be reduced to 50M (this is also not even accounting for any of the float being locked up in mutual funds, etfs, etc.).
Thus, by these numbers, the price should continue to rise until roughly 90% of retail shares have sold.
So do you think 10% of retail shares (50M) will be held until at least $2M per share?
If so, 50M * $2M = $100T
Although this also assumes people only hold until $2M per share. Personally I don't know why anyone would sell themselves out so cheap at $1M, $2M, or $10M per share.
And that doesn’t even account for the other 950 million shares!
The Major Counter Argument I See
Literally anything that proves my share counting estimates to be substantially wrong, and believe me, I would love to hear more information on this. I’m looking forward to feedback on the logical steps taken in this section.
Summarize Thesis Statement 2
So if there actually are 1B+ shares currently trading, what effects does this have on the situation as a whole? Well, I believe this makes the potential financial impact one to dwarf that of 2008 housing crisis, the 2001 dotcom bubble burst, Black Monday of 1987, and the 1929 Great Depression (accounting for inflation). By my estimation, the financial impact is looking like $100T on conservative side.
It’s quite obvious that the stock markets are going to ‘crash and burn’ at some future date and for some ‘unknown’ reason… The Great Depression is about to be repeated, and it will be as deliberate and manipulated as the first one that began with the stock market crash of 1929. We are, without a doubt, on the brink of the Mother of all economic Depressions.
The above quote was penned in 2003 and used by Anthony Freed in his “Who Really Owns Your Money?” article published in 2008. I couldn't find who originally penned this.
Getting Back to DTCC
Remember way back in the Recap section when I said "Enter in DTCC..." and left that on somewhat of a cliff hanger? Well now let's unhang that cliff and get to the real crazy shit of this post.
So where would I get the idea that DTCC is the next bag holder in line after Citadel? Well thankfully I came across a lovely DD while typing up this post which saves me from having to explain it:
And the image from that DD so you don't actually have to click the link:
But remember, I'm speculating the potential bag to be held could easily be $100T, and if DTCC is only worth a measly $60T, they could potentially be fighting for their life (thank goodness they have insurance).
I suspect when DTCC peered into the short positions of Citadel and company they came to a similar conclusion as my previous two thesis have arrived at (I believe the date for this was March 17, but I'm not certain on that). To the best of my knowledge, DTCC is not a player in the market like Citadel, rather I believe they have taken over a puppeteer role towards those in short positions. While DTCC would not literally be the institution making moves on the market, they are dictating what short side institutions do. This idea has risen largely from the sudden change in various tactics we are seeing, which I will cover now in no particular order.
New tactic: Weird Available Short Data
I noticed a weird change in available shorts starting in the middle of quadruple witching week. Until that week the available shorts had been slowly but steadily showing a general trend of approaching zero. However, that week they actually hit zero, but the interest to borrow stayed low. Due to supply and demand, the rate to borrow should only increase as the available shares to borrow decreases. This activity simply makes no logical sense. The following is a great example of the borrowable shares as I'm typing this.
At the lowest, we see 10,000 shares available with a meager 1% interest rate. Since this makes no logical sense due to supply and demand, allow me to speculate on the actual play happening here.
I believe the borrowable shares with a low percent fee are being used as honeypot to attract to players to take short positions. This would help socialize losses as potentially more greedy HFs would short GME for a bargain price. This would allow DTCC to first liquidate any new short player assets before having to start dipping into their $60T
New Tactic: Death Threats
What if I told you that DTCC potentially has a history of doing it? It may sound like a conspiracy theory, but after seeing the main stream media manipulation throughout this whole ordeal, I'm thinking some of you might be more open to believing conspiracy theories. Honestly, I'm not sure I believe it myself, but it's certainly interesting to note that Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne claims he received death threats. Byrne is one of the main people of interest in The Wall Street Conspiracy video and very actively tried to raise awareness of naked shorting. The following is another article which he recounts the details of the threats:
Byrne has claimed that his work exposing naked shorting resulted in death threats. After he went public with his allegations, he was summoned to a Thai restaurant in Great Neck, Long Island, where he and two associates met a man who warned them that Russian gangsters were planning to [Redacted] Byrne for having exposed a profitable source of income. The man told them that he had received a package containing matryoshka, Russian nesting dolls, with Byrne’s name on a slip of paper inside the smallest one. Around that time, Byrne said, someone threw a pair of garden shears through the window of the Manhattan restaurant that his girlfriend managed.
Brackets indicate edited quote because Reddit does not let me post that one word. See linked article for full quote.
Now I wouldn't it past our boy Kenny Griffin to put out death threats, but I find the timing to be a little suspicious. Perhaps death threats are a tactic used by a new player that entered the game...and maybe that would be the player with the most lose...maybe that would be DTCC...
I'll be interested to see what is sent to this account in the coming days.
New Tactic: Shorting the Muthafukin Russel 2000
Great DD here that explains mechanically how this ETF shorting works.
Some quotes I especially like to feed my confirmation bias (the all caps make them even better):
UPTICK IN RECENT ETF NAKED SHORTING SIGNALS THAT THEY ARE CLOSER TO THEIR REGULATORY LEVERAGE LIMITS.
EXPECT MORE NAKED SHORTING OF ETFS BUT THESE ADDITIONAL SHORTING MAY LEAD TO ENTIRE MARKET INSTABILITY
It appears a market crash would happen primarily from increased volatility caused by this excessive shorting. While apes are immune to volatility, in fact many of us were born in it, the boomer market as a whole fears volatility like the plague. If the major indices start to experience just a fraction of the volatility GME experiences on the daily, a rapid sell off is almost guaranteed. Especially if you consider we are currently in one of the most bullish markets ever, and that alone makes the market naturally due for a little correction. And oh yeah, apparently there's some boat stuck in a ditch somewhere? Doesn't seem that important to me, but people are talking about it.
But is it really Citadel that would be attempting to cause a market crash? Personally, I'm not convinced.
Let's play a little game called DTCC or Citadel. It's a simple game. I type out a question and then I type an answer to that question. And everyone else get to read my 2 AM stream of consciousness thesis argument after I post this.
Who benefits the most from a market crash?
Why? Citadel is already in the position of losing anything, not even a market crash where they load up on short positions can cancel the infinite loss potential of their GME short position. Although, Citadel loading up on short positions in broad market ETFs before a market crash could serve to lessen the blow of their position for DTCC.
Who has the financial leverage to cause enough instability for a market crash to occur?
Citadel issued $600M in junk bonds several weeks ago. I doubt their financial leverage is at its strongest. And even if it was, Citadel is not the largest fish in the pond; there are fish in the financial pond that would eat Citadel, burp, and ask for more. But what if DTCC is feeding Citadel the necessary leverage and calling the shots for our boy Kenny Griffin? Well then my thesis would be correct.
The Major Counter Argument I See
Its getting late and I don't feel like making one.
Summarize Thesis Statement 3
In my opinion, there's too many new tactics that conveniently started popping up around the time DTCC was able to see exactly what short positions on GameStop major players had taken. Thus, I believe a new entity started calling the shots for those on the short side. When I ask myself, "who has the most to lose?", I find the most logical conclusion to be DTCC. I think there is potentially a $100T bag that short side players will end up holding, and most of that will be falling on DTCC (and then the Fed since not even DTCC can hold a bag that big). So what's the only play they have left? Well they can't hope to get us to sell as the last two months have proven. But they can attempt to extend the losses to as many other institutions as possible. I just go back to the quote included at the beginning of this section:
The Great Depression is about to be repeated, and it will be as deliberate and manipulated as the first one
While typing this up I saw the posts that Josh would be stepping down from doing DD due to the evolving death threat situation. This got me thinking too...
I recall thousands of years ago there was some bearded, sandal wearing guy who mentioned something along the lines of (forgive me paraphrasing): "to think a sin is to commit it"
Ya know, I kind of agree with that statement in this context. In my opinion these threats should be matched with the same response as there would be to murder.
Now, this will never happen in the eyes of the law, but that doesn't mean it can't happen in the eyes of apes. So I got to thinking some more...
If someone is willing to take a human life for these shares, perhaps they're far more valuable than we ever could have anticipated. Truly, what is the value of a human life?
Each ape will have to come to that conclusion on their own, but I don't see myself wanting to part with them for a pitiful $10M, $20M, $50M, $100M or $1 Billion per share.
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