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Help! My short position got crushed, and now I owe E-Trade $106,445.56

His name is Joe Campbell, and he claims he went to bed Wednesday evening with some $37,000 in his trading account at E-Trade. One notable development on the pharma front later, and Campbell woke up to a debt of $106,445.56. Now, he may end up liquidating his 401(k). And his wife’s.

That’s where you come in. At least where Campbell desperately hopes you come in. Of course, sympathy in the trading community over such gaffes is typically in short supply.

His is a cautionary tale of getting caught on the wrong side of one of the riskier bets on Wall Street. When you’re long, the worst you can do is lose is everything. But when you’re short, everything and a lot more is at stake. He...


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