Why I find this topic so exciting
Since 2018, I had been invested in Wirecard shares and was in the black with a nice sum. However, I lost my investment due to the fraud of mainly the then CEO Markus Braun and COO Jan Marsalek.
At the same time, I learned that people were earning a lot of money by the crash of the Wirecard share.
I thought to myself wow and started to take a closer look at the topic of short selling.
When selling short, you bet on falling prices of a share. These are borrowed and later bought back at a lower rate. The difference is the profit you make.
I find it very exciting and crazy at the same time how many fraudsters and impostors are now running companies valued in the millions and hyping their shares even though they are actually worth much less. There are more companies that actually cheat and gloss over their numbers than I was actually aware as a naive shareholder. I only realized this when I delved deeper into the subject of short selling.
There are professional investigators who do nothing more than search for corrupt companies all day long to uncover inconsistencies and deception of the public. They read balance sheets, look for inconsistencies, statements and claims of CEOs and many other things.
Their goal is to expose the crooked machinations of a company and the deception that is often behind them. These so-called researchers or short sellers sit at such a study or report for several weeks or even months. It takes a lot of knowledge and know-how to invest in such a way to write a well-founded short seller report. Such a report usually comprises 40-100 pages. I personally have great respect for this investigative journalism.
E.g. Mr. Fraser Perring of Zatarra Research, already reported on Wirecard in 2016 and reported on illegal machinations and fraud. His report had 101 pages and at that time was not classified as credible by either the Bafin or any other institution. He was even accused of manipulation, and he was sued even though he was right. His detailed report from 2016 with all the allegations against Wirecard can be viewed and read here:
Wirdcard fraud Report von Zatarra Research Fraser Perring
There are now more and more professional short sellers and companies that practice investigative journalism to uncover fraud and manipulation. In this article I want to introduce you to the most famous short sellers and investigators:
Citron Research is one of the oldest research companies and was founded in 2001 by Andrew Left at the age of 24. Back then it was still called StockLemon. He and his team have already exposed many deceptions. Citron Research produces between 10 and 20 reports each year.
If you want to read the latest short reports, you simply have to subscribe to the newsletter on the short seller’s website.
Every professional shortseller has a website where you can stay up to date:
Viceroy Research is a group of clever minds who have come together to uncover deception and misdirection. Head of the gang is Fraser Perring who first discovered the Wirecard scam in 2016:
Hindenburg Research is headed by Nathan Anderson and recently uncovered the excessive hype of Nikolas Motors.
This hype is mainly based on exaggerated statements by Trevor Milton, the CEO of Nikola Motors.
For example, that the prototype of the Nikola One was operational and fully functional, although this was never the case.
Or that 3.5 megawatts of solar panels are installed on the roof of Nikola Motors’ headquarters. However, aerial photographs show that these do not exist.
Muddy Waters Research
Muddy Waters Research was founded by Carson Block in 2010 and primarily uncovers fraudulent accounting practices in publicly traded Chinese companies.
Some other well known shortsellers
Spruce Point Capital Mgmt which exists since 2009 was founded by Ben Axler.
Kyniko Associate, was founded by Jim Chanos.
Jim earned 100 million dollars by short selling Wirecard shares. That is world class!
Safkhet Capital Management was founded by the intelligent woman named Fahmi Quadir. She became known for her successful shorts on Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Wirecard.
J Capital, Fuzzy Panda Research and Blue Orca should also be mentioned. Furthermore, there is Emerson Analytics, which specializes in Chinese companies and stocks.
There are probably many more professional short sellers and investigators who are trying to uncover fraud.
I just wanted to give you a short overview of this exciting topic.
Of course, these short sellers make a lot of money with their analyses and betting on falling prices.
However, I find it a good, highly interesting thing when criminal machinations are uncovered. It is not acceptable that millions of people are fooled. Shareholders and investors who invest their earned money in shares and then get cheated, like me and many others in the Wirecard case. I see such research and exposure as defending justice, as Fahmi Quadir likes to say.
This calendar week 38 was quite violent!
This is probably one of the reasons why I am writing this article.
Hindenburg Research surprised with a short seller report on Nikola Motors. It is a very detailed paper, with months of research. There are really blatant accusations against Nikola Motors and especially against CEO Trevor Milton.
As if that wasn’t enough, Viceroy Research also published a 64-page short seller report about the German Grenke AG.
Grenke is accused of being a second Wirecard. However, nobody knows how much truth these reports contain, except for the company managers concerned.
Most of the time there is quite a lot of truth in such reports. Where this leads, however, remains to be seen. It remains exciting.