Regulators clamp down on naked longs

From the Economist

A cautionary tale from the future

This newspaper story has just come to light after falling through a gap in the space-time continuum

Sept. 26, 2021

Financial authorities in America and Europe took sweeping powers yesterday to avert a financial crisis by imposing restrictions on markets. In their sights are a peculiar brand of speculators known as “long-buyers” who buy assets not to live off the income they generate but to profit from rising prices.

Apparently these evildoers so destabilized the markets that house prices soared, prompting the former Hank Paulson (now King Henry I of America) to institute capital gains taxes on home sales as a way to drive those prices back down.

Industry analysts said that some of the damage done by long-buyers might have been prevented had a now defunct practice called “short-selling” been permitted. By speculating on falling prices, short-sellers could in theory prevent bubbles from being formed. However, their scope to trade was always limited by regulations and the tactic was killed off during the crisis year of 2008. “It drove us out of business,” recalled George Soros, a former hedge-fund manager, speaking in Central Park yesterday, before adding, “Do you want some ketchup with that?”