ComputerShare is the way.
Edit: Wow this was swarmed with anti DRS and anti CS comments fast. Must have struck a nerve.
Yep, I know… you’ve been inundated with CS postings recently. This may feel similar, but it’s very important you understand this, and how it impacts your holdings during MOASS. The screenshot below has a very real and direct impact on your shares should the entire market (including your broker) collapse in a total market meltdown.
======= In a Nutshell =======
TL;DR – If you own shares at a brokerage then your shares are “Street Name” registered. Regardless of what your brokerage tells you about ownership of these shares, they can (and do) lend your shares out, to make money. When MOASS kicks off, it is possible brokerages will fail, along side hedgies, banks and the DTCC. In the event your brokerage goes under, lent shares can go poof and are insured up to $500K on the total bokerage holdings. DRS shares can’t go poof.
TA;DR – if you paid your broker to buy/keep your banana(s) for you, they likely promised them to others too, and if there is a run on bananas, you will only get an empty peel in return, and not your banana(s) back. If you saved your banana(s) in our name you are protected for the value of each banana.
======= End of Nutshell; More Details =======
If you own shares at a brokerage (Fidelity, Vanguard, eTrade, etc…) then your shares are Street Name registered. Regardless of what your brokerage tells you about ownership of these shares, they can (and do) lend your shares out, which shorts borrow to do what they do to the price of GME. The brokerage motivation in doing this is simple; to make money while juggling the shares of all their clients on their books. The big picture thesis of this collective community is that there are many multiples the float of GME out out there. That is to say, for every legitimate share, there are 2, 10, 20, or 100 IOUs floating around out there. Much of this, is likely due to the lending of shares brokerages engage in from street registered shares they hold on behalf of their clients (you).
FWIW, if you have 1 or more shares of GME and your floor is greater than 500K, then you are what this screenshot is referring to as “high-net-worth individuals and large organization”
Until I stumbled across this posting from Investopedia, I assumed that my shares (whether legit, synthetic, naked or otherwise) have to be bought back in MOASS. I thought that it didn’t matter if I had a real share or a fake one — that to me there is no difference, because that’s the brokerages problem not mine. However, that might not be the case when brokerages fail. In the event brokerage shenanigans that lead to IOUs of shares that are promised to multiple people, it’s possible (and most likely) these IOUs just vanish in a brokerage failure, because no one else is liable (not the DTC, not other brokerages) – they were owned by the brokerage on behalf of you, after all, and the now failed brokerage is gone. So who is on the hook for your value, in this case? The SIPC, to the tune of $500,000 in total. And that’s not per share… that’s per account. This is the risk of allowing someone else to manage your shares, on your behalf.
Here is another article on the topic: https://budgeting.thenest.com/lose-shares-broker-goes-bankrupt-23338.html
All this time there has been a concerted effort to sew fear and doubt in transferring to CS, while the biggest liability in a total market meltdown may actually be keeping too large a portion of shares in a brokerage (registered to Cede, not you). If lent shares cause the entire system to collapse, your brokerage may default on your shares, and your ownership in GME can vanish. DRS shares, can’t vanish when a brokerage who holds them on your behalf does.
This is not financial advice.
I am not telling anyone to do anything with their shares.
Please do your own due diligence.
Be kind to one another.
Edit: For the record, I don’t think a Vanguard or Fidelity would go down, they are an example of too big to fail (if there ever was one), each managing close to or over $10T in assets. But it’s worth noting what could happen should brokers default. Just because liabilities can be sold off… why in earth would someone else take on the liability of 1Billion fake shares on books, if they were there from lending (brokerage on the hook should those who borrowed go under).
I just don’t want people to have a false hope their “street name” shares would be covered or picked up by someone else, like many of the smaller brokers like to say. In theory, that’s a nice sentiment, in reality… who is going to take on the toxic mess of GME fakes that could also lead to their own demise when liquidations suck the entire market dry from infinite potential losses on the short side…
Lent shares from brokerages put them on the liability chain after those who borrowed are liquidated… with infinite potential for losses, there is infinite potential for testing the solvency of those in the liability chain. Will a brokerage with $10T in assets under management go under from MOASS, if they are in line for liability to the phantom shares they are on the hook for being a part of creating? That really depends just how high the floor goes and how much money is required to buy back the bad bets. $10T divided by infinite is under 1 share, to sink any brokerage. If the top 100,000 shares sold for $100M, then the liquidations of those on the hook for that infinite loss potential would surpass $10T.
Is Fidelity or Vanguard going to fail from the size of what’s needed to repay during MOASS? That depends how much the long side of MOASS actually needs…
No I don’t think large brokerages will fail, but I do think small ones will, and no one is going to willingly take on that liability to step in front of the infinite loss potential from their bad liabilities (GME shares on books that aren’t actually there to return). So how will those people be made whole? It’s worth discussing and looking into. The SIPC insurance seems like a conduit that would likely be deployed in that case.