People who believe that short positions and hedging represent a lack of integrity and that those who hold them are "liv(ing) life at the expense of others misfortunes" are just plain hopelessly naive and probably shouldn't be investing in the stock market (i.e., something they don't understand). Equating shorts with purse-snatchers is childish logic. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Spreading lies and rumors about great companies to make their recovery even more difficult is almost like stealing money from people. I still believe that Wall Street Crooks planned and successfully executed this whole bubble and bursting of the bubble game..
It was very simple: With the media that they own, they hyped the stocks for many years in 90s, and when they decided that they made enough money from the bull market they went short and started spreading news about bear market etc. Now the media they control started spreading pessimistic view of everything. Corporate scandals etc, (as if they didn't know about these before). These scandals were all timed carefully to spread more pessimism about the economy, (do you remember how they kept coming one after another?)
You forget that there were a lot of pundits out there CLAIMING that the 90's bubble was a bubble and was about to burst. I forget the person's exact name - I believe it was Skilling, a professor at Yale ??? who was claiming that this whole bubble was about to burst. He was laughed at by all those who thought that the market could only go up. Noone really wanted to hear what he had to say.
The media will report on what sells - and everybody wanted to hear that life was good and could only get better.
A lot of new investors came in during the '90's and only heard what they wanted to hear. So was this a conspiracy? Not without the help of EVERYONE - investors included.
I would agree with you that "Spreading lies and rumors about great companies to make their recovery even more difficult is almost like stealing money from people." However, holding a short position does not equal "Spreading lies and rumors about great companies." Also, remember when your Mom taught you "sticks and stones may break your bones but names can never hurt you"? It applies here, in order for lies and rumors to actually damage a company, many investors have to a) believe the lies and rumors and b) take action by selling their holdings. Ever wonder why there are so very few legal actions taken against posters on these boards, for example? It's because they are irrelevant and don't affect any stock up or down. That's why I have such a hard time understanding why people get so very worked up about it. WHO CARES??? If you have money to invest and you believe in the company that you've invested, what difference does it make what anyone on an internet message board says? It ain't a football game where someone has to win and someone has to lose and a lot of trash talking has to surround it all.
BTW, since you made the statement, don't you agree that "spreading lies and rumors about great companies to make their future prospects look BETTER THAN EXPECTED is almost like stealing money from people - too.
As far as your belief that there's a vast Wall Street conspiracy, sounds too much like Spy vs. Spy to me. I don't know about you, but when I bought stock no one gave me a guarantee that I'd make money . . . as a matter of fact, I was warned again and again that stocks were relatively risky investments.