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TheStreet Open House

The Bailout's Unfair Bad Rap

Stock quotes in this article: AIG, GM, FNMA

It should not be overlooked that in order to sell shares of a security short, one must borrow the shares on margin, whereby adding to the outstanding margin debt; however, as of today we are well within the range of "normal" levels of short interest.

I am not advocating that the retail investor get approved to trade on margin and begin doing so with abandon. I am simply pointing out that this indicator may not be particularly useful without proper context. Keep in mind that the media's job is to find big numbers and make them look bigger, scarier or more exciting. But there is usually more to the story than the headline.

-- Written by Adam B. Scott, founder of Argyle Capital Partners, in Los Angeles.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Adam B. Scott is a founder of Argyle Capital Partners, a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor based in Los Angeles. A veteran of Morgan Stanley and UBS Wealth Management in Beverly Hills, Calif., Adam uses his extensive market knowledge and macro-level analysis to implement customized solutions for high net worth private clients. Adam is an avid tennis player and skier, and volunteers his free time to the Fulfillment Fund, the Tufts Alumni Association and coaching local youth sports.
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