Thursday, October 2, 2008

GGPPS: Margin calls, short sales and all that

I forgot to mention: Eddie Baeb reports that a proxy advisor is none too happy about General Growth being on the no-short list while its execs dump shares.

“Since electing to be added to the no-short list of ‘financial’ companies, General insiders have sold $40 million in shares,” wrote Todd Fernandez, a senior research analyst with San Francisco-based Glass Lewis, according to Bloomberg. “We see that as rigging the system and hope General would do shareholders a favor and remove itself from the list.”
That may be, but maybe I am naive. It might be a little uncharitable to say the system is rigged when, as Eddie points out, most or all of these sales are covering margin calls. People are losing just their shorts instead of the whole suit.

I'm no legal expert on this issue (so I welcome any thoughts/comments here), but it seems the request is simply one to try and stop bleeding. GGP is not the only REIT on the list. And I also wonder aloud whether the suspension of the uptick rule is not helping things at all. (Jim Cramer agrees.)

Oh, well...all food for thought.