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This is why.

"So what does Etrade, Scottrade, and TD-Ameritrade all have in common? They all use the clearing firm Penson Financial. A clearing firm is an organization that works with brokers and exchanges for your trading transactions. They are the ones that control the shares available to short, etc.

The problem is that there are so many brokerages and accounts tied up with this specific clearing firm (Penson Financial) that shares are very very very limited because different brokerages are asking for shares left and right."


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