Imagine the high old time those Hamas killers had on October 7. Not only could they have fun beheading babies, burning children alive, raping, torturing, and murdering girls, gouging out the eyes, and cutting off the genitalia, of men, and slicing off the breasts of women, murdering parents in front of their children and children in front of their parents. They could also take videos of each other in “can you top this” mode as they thought up something still more savage to inflict on their victims, and share a good-humored laugh about it all with their pals, as they carried back to Gaza not just men to be tormented and girls passed around as sex slaves, but also some severed heads as trophies. But as if all that weren’t fun enough, there was even more pleasure to be experienced by the Hamas leaders in Doha — and perhaps by their paymasters in Tehran as well — who made billions of dollars off the blood-soaked savagery of their frenzied bezonians, as spooked stock markets plummeted downward just as soon as the news broke of the Hamas attack. Here’s the latest news on how Hamas insiders made, in every sense, a killing: “‘Informed Traders’ May Have Profited From Oct. 7 Massacre With Advance Stock Market Activity, Study Finds,” by Troy O. Fritzhand, Algemeiner, December 4, 2023:
Stock traders may have profited massively off the Hamas terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel by using advanced knowledge of the onslaught to short sell Israeli companies in the days leading up to the surprise invasion, according to a new study by US researchers.
The study — titled “Trading on Terror?” — was published in the SSRN journal by Robert J. Jackson, Jr. of the New York University School of Law and Joshua Mitts of Columbia Law School. The researchers concluded that traders who apparently had prior knowledge of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks made billions of dollars.
“Informed traders increasingly disguise trades in economically linked securities such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Linking that work to longstanding literature on financial markets’ reactions to military conflict, we document a significant spike in short selling in the principal Israeli-company ETF days before the Oct. 7 Hamas attack,” the study stated. “Our findings suggest that traders informed about the coming attacks profited from these tragic events, and consistent with prior literature we show that trading of this kind occurs in gaps in US and international enforcement of legal prohibitions on informed trading.”
The researchers noted that short selling on Oct. 7 “far exceeded” the short selling that occurred during other recent periods of crisis, such as the Great Recession of 2007-2009, the 2014 Gaza war, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The study added that there was no major rise in short selling before the Israeli government passed controversial judicial reform legislation in July, after which stock prices dropped.
However, “we identify increases in short selling before the [Oct. 7] attack in dozens of Israeli companies traded in Tel Aviv,” the paper said. “For one Israeli company alone, 4.43 million new shares sold short over the Sept. 14 to Oct. 5 period yielded profits (or avoided losses) of 3.2 billion NIS on that additional short sale.”
Short selling is when a trader borrows shares and sells them, hoping the price will then fall so they can buy them back for cheaper [sic].
“Although we see no aggregate increase in shorting of Israeli companies on US exchanges, we do identify a sharp and unusual increase, just before the attacks, in trading in risky short-dated options on these companies expiring just after the attacks,” the study found. “We identify similar patterns in the Israeli ETF at times when it was reported that Hamas was planning to execute a similar attack as in October.”
One of the biggest days of short selling occurred on Oct. 2. Given how “unusual” their findings were, the researchers wrote it was “extremely unlikely that the volume of short selling on Oct. 2 occurred by random chance.”…
“Taken together, this evidence indicates that the volume of short selling observed over the days immediately prior to the Hamas attack was extraordinarily high and unlikely to have been explained by bona fide market making, because that should have been accompanied by high volumes of purchases to offset those short sales — if not on the same day, certainly very quickly,” the study found. “Otherwise, the market maker would be exposed to directional movements in the stock price.”
Just three leaders of Hamas have over the years stolen eleven billion dollars in foreign aid meant for the people of Gaza: Ismail Haniyeh and Mousa Abu Marzouk both have fortunes of $4 billion, and Khaled Meshaal clings to his $3 billion. But if they could make another few billion by shorting Israeli stocks just before October 7 — or even other stocks, too, such as those that make up the S & P 500, because they not merely knew about, but had planned the October 7 attack — hey, why not? What’s not to like?