and were suddenly silenced. The reason: with 38% of its float short (making it the 30th most shorted stock in the Russell 2000), this was one of the most dramatic confirmations of what we said was the best trading strategy under the Fed’s artificial capital misallocation regime, namely “buying the most hated names to generate the most alpha.”
In fact, for the benefit of our readers who also wanted to think like a central planner, criminal or five year old (or all of the above combined) we started compiling the list of most shorted stocks some time back in 2012. It was then that we said:
By now it should be no secret that under the New Centrally-Planned Normal, good is great, but worst is far greater. It is therefore no surprise that in the past year, some of the highest returning stocks have been the companies which have seen wave after wave of shorts come in, attempting to ride the underlying equity value to zero, only to see themselves scrambling to cover short squeezes, generated either due to the pull of borrow by an overeager shareholder, or due to bad news not being horrible enough, leading to short covering ramps.
Since then the most shorted stock category continues to make fools out of all those who still believe that under ZIRP things like cash flow, earnings growth, covenant, leverage, or going concern matter (as they experienced most recently today with TRLA), and have outperformed the broader market by several orders of magnitude.
So for all those who still believe that the market has quite a ways to go under the yoke of the Fed’s centrally-planning before it all crashes into a house of rigged cards, here is the list of the most shorted stocks in the S&P 500 and Russell 2000, sorted by descending short interest as a % of float.
And the Russell 2000: