Predatory Short Selling

52 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2013

See all articles by Markus K. Brunnermeier

Markus K. Brunnermeier

Princeton University - Department of Economics

Martin Oehmke

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2013


Financial institutions may be vulnerable to predatory short selling. When the stock of a financial institution is shorted aggressively, leverage constraints imposed by short-term creditors can force the institution to liquidate long-term investments at fire sale prices. For financial institutions that are sufficiently close to their leverage constraints, predatory short selling equilibria co-exist with no-liquidation equilibria (the vulnerability region) or may even be the unique equilibrium outcome (the doomed region). Increased coordination among short sellers expands the doomed region, where liquidation is the unique equilibrium. Our model provides a potential justification for temporary restrictions on short selling of vulnerable institutions and can be used to assess recent empirical evidence on short-sale bans.

Suggested Citation

Brunnermeier, Markus Konrad and Oehmke, Martin, Predatory Short Selling (October 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19514. Available at SSRN:

Markus Konrad Brunnermeier (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Bendheim Center for Finance
Princeton, NJ
United States
609-258-4050 (Phone)
609-258-0771 (Fax)

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Martin Oehmke

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Finance ( email )

United Kingdom

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