Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Shorting in a Digital Age

I read two New York Times articles about shorting stocks this weekend: “The Long and Short of It at Goldman Sachs” and “Short Seller Sinks Teeth Into Insurer”. Afterwards I got to thinking about how the internet can really alter the way this part of the market works (here’s some more info on shorting). Because it’s so much easier to get a message out, you can pump negativity and then short the stock, thereby betting on the downfall you’re helping to create. I don’t imagine this is new at all, but since it’s easier to reach mass audiences, I’m guessing it happens more often.

Anyway, as I was mentioning this to a friend I remembered a Wired article from September on one of Mark Cuban’s businesses. It’s a site called ShareSleuth that investigates public companies it suspects are up to shadiness and is funded by Cuban, who shorts the stocks the site reports on.

December 3, 2007