Give it a rest, t0m. Shorts are not thieves. That's why it's called BORROWING a stock, not TAKING a stock.
Yes, shorts do play an important role in the market...particularly when it comes to rooting out fraud and pump & dumps. It was shorts who exposed Enron and also all of the Chinese RTO scandals. Longs would never bother to expose such stuff. Shorts also provide an important counter-balance to when a market or stock gets well over-extended.
Shred, I think the problem a lot of people have with shorts is some unsavory tactics used against solid companies. For instance, I have had stop losses taken out from bear raids on non-volatile stocks on no news. Yes, it's frustrating, but instead I've started circumventing short term unpredicted volatility and managing risk by purchasing calls. Some people suffer from terminal tunnel vision, and instead of adapting or evolving their investment/speculation strategy they want to force their system until it goes or blows. And that leaves those aforementioned longs irascible.
Shred, we have certainly had our differences viz. Affymax, but on your points re. shorts I am in total agreement. We can disagree with their tactics (particularly the bashing or pumping from your point of view) without disregarding the importance of shorts in the marketplace. I'm not sure where Tom.Mirabit0 is coming from but his points of view on shorting is just dead wrong.
What a poor excuse for antisocial behavior. "Longs would never bother to expose". The jails in this country are overflowing. There must be a lot of shorts in the good ole USA because decent people don't bother to do their civic duty. I doubt if you get that one.
Tell me how many corrupt individuals went to prison for Enron. What happened did the shorts get tired of exposing them?
The noble shorts protect the shareholders from the awful burden of high share prices.
Here's a question for you. At what price did you sell your soul? Notice the sell not short in that question, its because actually own that first.
It takes a real thoughtful person to find the good in destructive behavior.