Public pension funds and other big investors have long squeezed out a few extra bucks by lending stock held in their portfolios -- for a fee -- to short-sellers. Now those funds are starting to feel a squeeze of their own.So they bought stocks with your retirement savings and then loaned them out to short sellers? And this helped invest your money in the economy in what way?
The collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Washington Mutual Inc. have set off new troubles in the securities-lending business, and the recent freeze in short-term debt markets has only compounded the problem.
This is exactly the kind of thing that is turning me away from the bailout. What kind of wacky idea is that? Buying stocks and then lending them out for short sellers is such an obscure concept that I'm almost glad they're getting their fingers slammed in the door just because the whole thing reeks of gambling.
Why not buy stocks and then take the certificates to Vegas for a turn at the roulette wheel?