How Long Was The Volkswagen Short Squeeze

James J. Hill, J. P. Morgan, and E. H. Harriman engaged in a power struggle over the Northern Pacific Railway in May 1901. By the close of business on May 7, 1901, the two parties held over 94% of the shares of Northern Pacific that were still in circulation. Third parties shorted Northern Pacific in a frenzied manner as a result of the subsequent runup in share price. On May 8, it became clear that NP shares that had not been committed would not be enough to cover the open short bets, and neither Hill/Morgan nor Harriman would be ready to sell. As NP “shorts” sold off holdings to obtain money to buy NP shares to fulfill their obligations, this caused a sell-off in the rest of the market. A truce between Hill/Morgan and Harriman helped to lessen the impact of the impending stock market meltdown, sometimes known as the Panic of 1901. [10]

Volkswagen AG’s stock on the Xetra DAX rose from 210.85 to over 1000 in less than two days in October 2008 as a result of a short squeeze brought on by a Porsche takeover attempt, briefly making it the most valuable corporation in the world.


[12] A Stuttgart court cleared former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking of the charge of market manipulation. [13] [14]

In connection with a short squeeze on a number of high-yield bonds issued by MAAX Holdings, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Philip Falcone with market manipulation in 2012. Falcone bought the whole bond issue after learning that a company was shorting the bonds. He also extended a loan to the short-sellers of the bonds, and upon their sale, he later purchased them back. Because of this, his overall exposure was greater than the value of the entire MAAX bond offering. Falcone immediately stopped lending the bonds, making it impossible for short-sellers to cover their bets. The bonds’ cost increased sharply. [15] [16] The only way for the short-sellers to close out their bets was by speaking with Falcone directly. [16]

In November 2015, bankrupt biotech KaloBios (KBIO) experienced a short squeeze that increased the share price by 10,000% in just five trading days. Short sellers had viewed KBIO as a “no-brainer near-term zero.” [17]

Beginning in January 2021, there was a short squeeze on GameStop shares[18][19] that was mostly caused by the Reddit site WallStreetBets.


[21] Due to this pressure, the share price on the NYSE rose to an all-time intraday high of US$483 on January 28, 2021. [22] [23] Numerous news outlets and social media sites covered this squeeze. [24]

How much time did VW need to squeeze?

In the same month thirteen years ago, the Frankfurt-listed shares of Volkswagen increased by more than four times in only two days, briefly elevating the German automaker to the position of most valuable firm on the planet.

In the four days following the stock’s peak on October 28, 2008, it fell 58%, and by September of that same year, the shares had fallen 70% from their peak, giving up the majority of the squeeze.

Even though the Volkswagen short squeeze occurred more than ten years ago, day traders might still benefit greatly from this particular stock market incident.

Let’s examine the meanings of “short selling” and “short squeeze” before delving into the 2008 VW short squeeze.

What was the peak of the short squeeze on VW stock?

With a share price of over 1000 in October 2008, Volkswagen briefly held the title of most valuable corporation in the world. And it all began with a shocking declaration by competing automaker Porsche.

What happened?

Volkswagen and Porsche have a long history of collaboration, and Porsche has constantly had a small interest in Volkswagen. However, Porsche disclosed on October 26, 2008, that it had acquired control of 74% of Volkswagen’s voting shares by purchasing nearly all of the company’s outstanding shares.

Of fact, the global financial crisis had already taken hold by October 2008, and short selling was rife. Only because so much Volkswagen stock (about 12.5%) was lent to short sellers at the time of the Porsche announcement was the Volkswagen short squeeze enabled. These short sellers rushed to close out their positions when the market opened the next day in an effort to limit their losses, which resulted in the purchase of more stock and an increase in the share price.

Volkswagen’s stock rose about 150% on October 27 from its opening price of 348 to its closing price of 517. By Tuesday, the stock had reached its all-time high of $999 per share, with short-selling losses pegged at tens of billions of dollars. Wendelin Wiedeking, the CEO of Porsche, was eventually prosecuted with market manipulation for his involvement in the short squeeze, but the accusations were later dropped.

Which brief squeeze was the most severe?

Over the course of a single trading day, Volkswagen became “the world’s priciest corporation,” in one of the largest short squeezes in history. Prior to this significant increase, it was widely assumed that Volkswagen was a privately held company.

Since the market was extremely pessimistic about its prospects, a disproportionately large number of short sellers targeted the stock, which ultimately suffered as a result. Then, on October 28, 2008, the automaker Porsche abruptly declared that it now owned 74.1% of Volkswagen, which it had only recently purchased through derivatives trading. Following Porsche’s unexpected takeover of Volkswagen’s operations, both institutional and retail investors rushed to cover their short holdings.

As a result, some of the company’s shares reached over $1,000, briefly making Volkswagen the largest business in the world by market capitalization. The price of the company’s shares increased by more than 93% at the day’s peak.

Porsche was accused of concealing its investing activities in January 2010 by a number of investment funds, including Glenhill Capital LP, Elliott Associates, Elliott International, the Liverpool Limited Partnership, Perry Partners, Perry Partners International, and Elliott Associates.

The accusations against Porsche and its former CEO and CFO were dropped before the year was up.

When did the VW short squeeze occur?

In response to Porsche’s announcement that it had expanded its stake in Volkswagen, the short squeeze began on October 26, 2008. The worst of it was over in a few of days. Soon, word spread that only 6% of Volkswagen shares were available for trade due to Porsche’s increasing shareholding in the company, despite the need for approximately 12% shares to cover open short positions.

Porsche released about 5% of its Volkswagen shares at exorbitant prices after the stock price reached its peak, allowing short sellers to liquidate their bets. The stock crashed after October 28 and lost more than 58% of its value in the following four days. The stock had dropped 70% from its peak a month later.

However, short sellers faced significant losses as a result of being stuck between the market’s tight supply of shares and rising share prices. Hedge firms reportedly lost over $30 billion on their short Volkswagen holdings, according to some estimates.

How long did the peak of VW squeezing last?

After VW’s stock price peaked on the 28th, the short squeeze somewhat eased, and the stock fell by 58 percent in just four days. A month later, it had fallen by 70 percent from its peak.

How many days are there in a short squeeze?

Once the short squeeze has started, you can trade on it using our derivative products on our Next-Generation trading platform, including spread bets and CFDs. With derivatives, you merely speculate on the underlying share’s price swings rather than really owning it. Unlike leveraged products, which allow traders to place a small deposit of the full value and receive full exposure to the market, traditional share trading requires you to buy and assume ownership of the stock. Keep in mind that trading on leverage carries a significant risk, and losses can quickly outpace gains.

You should look at the short interest ratio of a security to discover if it is extensively shorted. Various websites offer this kind of information, and a short interest of above 20% signals that it is favorable to stock shorts and may soon result in a short squeeze.

If they can anticipate market moves and open reactive buy and sell positions, retail traders can profit from a short squeeze. Another way to put it is that the company whose stock is being shorted might gain since investor interest raises the share price. It can be extremely harmful and result in significant losses for institutional traders and hedge funds that have a significant amount of cash invested in a stock, as was the case with the GameStop [GME] short squeeze.

A short squeeze may last a few days or several months, depending on how much stock was shorted. This can be calculated, for example, by dividing the average daily trading volume of a company by the short interest ratio of its shorted stocks. This offers you an estimate of how many days it might take sellers to cover their short positions, however it might be less time if the squeeze is more aggressive than initially thought.

How high can you squeeze a short one?

If you short a stock at $10, it cannot go below zero, thus your profit on the deal is limited to $10 per share. However, there is no cap on the stock. You can be required to buy it back at $20, $200, or $2 million after selling it for $10. A stock’s potential height is unbounded theoretically.