A recent study by law professors at Columbia University and New York University has indicated a surge in bets against the value of Israeli companies just days before the 7 October Hamas attacks.
The preliminary findings, awaiting peer review, suggest the possibility that some traders might have had advance knowledge of the impending terrorist attack.
As per reports by NDTV, the research reveals an "unusual" increase in short selling in the MSCI Israel Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), a major fund linked to Israeli companies, occurring five days before the attacks.
This surge was reportedly more significant than observed during major events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2014 Israel-Gaza war, and the 2008 global financial crisis.
Authors of the paper, titled "Trading on Terror?" include former SEC commissioner Robert Jackson Jr. and Columbia law professor Joshua Mitts.
They suggest that traders with prior knowledge may have profited from the tragic events.
However, Despite the compelling findings, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) assert that there were no unusual trading activities detected leading up to the attack.
The study raises concerns about potential insider trading and emphasises the need for regulatory scrutiny.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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