AMC Entertainment, the largest movie theatre chain in the world, continues to innovate and creatively raise cash with a mission to erase its debt accumulated during the pandemic.
Hedge Funds Face Big Risks
Ihor Dusaniwsky, head of predictive analytics at financial technology and analytics firm S3 Partners, compiled a list of those most vulnerable stocks, headed by such names as AMC (AMC), GameStop Inc. (GME), Coinbase Global Inc. (COIN) and CarMax Inc. (KMX).
“One factor that is also killing profits for short sellers is the borrowing costs on stocks that no one is willing to part with, and the stock that figures highest on that list is AMC.”
AMC’s cost to borrow recently skyrocketed to more than 1,000% with its cost to borrow average currently being reported at 928%.
“Short sellers want to short the stock, but they are not able to get a stock borrow locate and therefore cannot execute their short on the street,” Dusaniwsky told MarketWatch in an interview.
“But, when any stock borrows become available — lenders, brokers know they can charge inflated fees as there is huge demand for the name.”
“In this case there is an AMC–[preferred stock] APE arbitrage trade that will be profitable if the conversion occurs soon because the high financing costs are eating into those expected profits every day, including weekends,” Dusaniwsky said.
But the S3 analyst isn’t the only one stating there is big squeeze potential in AMC and GameStop.
Strategist Says Mother of All Short Squeezes is Here
Interactive Brokers Chief Strategist Steve Sosnick says there’s big demand to short AMC Entertainment stock.
He says the biggest reason aside from the company’s fundamentals is its new merge with its equity (NYSE:APE).
“It’s very hard to keep the momentum in these things because economic reality does take hold.
Bed Bath & Beyond, at one point was the best performing stock on the board until reality set in and they began defaulting, averted bankruptcy, but using a deal that is so dilutive that it’s unavoidable.”
Sosnick says AMC is in a very special situation because of the proposal to merge APE with AMC common shares.
“Right now we’re seeing such a demand to short AMC partly because of its difficulties but partly because of the special situation.
David Inggs is Global Head of Operations at Citadel and is responsible for all products across asset servicing, billing, cash management, clearing, and has a board seat at the DTCC.
The conflict of interest has raised big concerns amongst the retail investor community online as Citadel has been a leading and one of the biggest short sellers in the stock market.
On January 28th, 2021, The DTCC waived $9.7 billion of collateral deposit, limiting institutional losses and limiting retail profits during the ‘meme stock’ frenzy.
The organization allowed several naked shares to flood the market prior to the massive jump in share prices only to help financial institutions in the end.
Citadel and Melvin Capital who shut down last year, lost billions during the event.
Melvin was crippled throughout 2022 from its severe losses in GameStop the year prior.
Had the DTCC not stepped in, the hedge fund would have closed that same year.
“Anyone shorting AMC or GameStop is out of their mind. Wallstreetbets is too powerful, and trying to bet against them right now is just giving them more ammo”, said Jim Cramer.
Since the halt of ‘meme stocks’, the retail community has been uncovering a variety of conflicts of interest too big to ignore.
Who is David Inggs?
David Inggs is Global Head of Operations at Citadel and is responsible for all products across asset servicing, billing, cash management, clearing, Collateral Management, Reconciliation & Control and Settlements and is on the Board of Directors at the DTCC.
Prior to joining Citadel, David served as Chief Operations Officer of E*TRADE where he led operations globally across Trade Execution, Global Clearing, Middle Office and Shared Services, among other functions.
David spent most of his career at Goldman Sachs, where he was a Managing Director and held numerous leadership positions over the course of a decade, including Global Head of Clearing Operations and Head of Credit Default Swaps and Equity Derivative Operations.
David also worked at Morgan Stanley, where he served as an Executive Director and Head of Global Bank Loans, in addition to work in credit derivatives and collateral management.
The Global Head of Operations at Citadel has worked for every major criminal financial institution that has been too big to face serious consequences from fraud or market manipulation in the past.
Retail investors say this is market injustice and regulators are part of the problem.
Who is the DTCC?
The DTCC (Depositary Trust and Clearing Corporation) is an American post-trade financial services company providing clearing and settlement services to the financial markets.
The DTCC processes trillions of dollars of securities on a daily basis.
As the centralized clearinghouse for various exchanges and equity platforms, the DTCC settles transactions between buyers and sellers of securities.
The information is recorded by its subsidiary, the NSCC.
After the NSCC has processed and recorded a trade, they provide a report to the brokers and financial professionals involved.
This report includes their net securities positions after the trade and the money that is due to be settled between the two parties.
Clearing corporations such as the DTCC may receive cash from a buyer and securities or futures contracts from a seller.
The clearing corporation then manages the exchange and collects a fee for this service.
The size of the fee is dependent on the size of the transaction, the level of service required, and the type of security being traded.
Investors who make several transactions in a day can generate significant fees.
This means every naked share that has been created on the ‘short side’ has been recorded and bypassed by the DTCC/NSCC, all for a fee.