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San Diego's Bridgepoint Education, the for-profit university under Congressional attack as well as government investigation, is the most heavily shorted stock among 3,000 U.S. stocks, according to the publication Seeking Alpha. A whopping 58.79% of Bridgepoint's trading stock is short -- that is, investors are hoping the stock will go down. The shorts borrow shares, sell them, and expect to buy them back at a lower price. The next highest on the list has 51.75% of its float short. Generally, speculators often consider a high short position bullish. If something good happens to the company, the shorts may rush to cover (buy the stock) and send it upward. Bridgepoint stock is down 10% this year. Senator Tom Harkin regularly points out that 84% of the two-year students at its Ashford subsidiary drop out, and 63% of four-year students don't finish. But the company exists on federal government loans that account for 85% of its revenue -- and probably close to 100% if military recruits would be included. The company has startlingly high profits and an amazing $230 million in cash, but an investigation by the Department of Education could deprive it of federal support -- thus sinking the company. However, if DOE bows to Republican pressure and gives the company a wrist slap, the shorts could cover and the stock could roar upward.

Also on Seeking Alpha's list of 50 most shorted stocks is biotech Orexigen, which is trying to develop a diet pill. The stock has bounced up and down depending on the outlook for Food and Drug Administration approval. The short position for Orexigen is 26.33%. The stock is down 65% on the year. Orexigen lost 6.08% today to $3.09. Bridgepoint dropped 0.29% to $16.96.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 April 5, 2011 @ 4:58 p.m.

It will go BK, either by their own doing or when the USA gets serious about dimploma mills that are defrauding the student loan program (and taxpayers) with BS courses and degrees that get you nowhere fast.

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Don Bauder April 5, 2011 @ 8:16 p.m.

If the government yanks its funding (Pell grants, etc.), Bridgepoint will certainly go under. It lives off government loans -- unfortunately, heavily to those who never finish school. The DOE says the company is basically a boiler room (not in so many words). But the Republicans want to rescue these for-profit schools. So we still don't know what will happen. Best, Don Bauder

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stingray April 5, 2011 @ 9:31 p.m.

So Don, I am unclear as to why the Republicans would want to bail out Bridgepoint.

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SurfPuppy619 April 5, 2011 @ 9:51 p.m.

So Don, I am unclear as to why the Republicans would want to bail out Bridgepoint.

================== Because Bridepoint, like Sallie Mae, NelNet, Apollo and all the rest of the scammers, are giving tens of millions to the Republicans, that is why Republicans will bail them out and go to bat for them, they are getting paid off.

Big Business OWNS the Congress, that is why the middle class has all but disappeared in America, and all the money is flowing to the top 2%, or public employees who are buying off the politicians at the state level.

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Don Bauder April 6, 2011 @ 6:57 a.m.

Those are additional reasons why Republicans stand up for the for-profits. Also, some charlatans like Jack Welch are involved with the for-profits. Best, Don Bauder

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jham88 May 6, 2011 @ 8:30 p.m.

I too am puzzeled by the sentiment that Republicans would be for the for the for profit system of the Likes of BPI. They should be for the elimination of tax payer waste which with the drop out rate of BPI is easy to see.

I would wonder if the TEA PARTY crowd is aware of this utter scam?

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Don Bauder April 6, 2011 @ 6:55 a.m.

It's ideological and political. The Republicans have made moves to protect the for-profit colleges and thwart DOE's attempts to reform them. Reason: the Republicans think the private sector can do no wrong. Also, it's politics. The politicians trying to rein in the for-profit abuses are largely Democrats. Best, Don Bauder

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nokomisjeff April 6, 2011 @ 10:37 a.m.

The Democrats are protecting companies like GS, CITI, etc because those companies pay a lot of tribute to them. Same way the Dems are protecting the public sector unions, and giving away the farm to unions like the UAW. It would be disingenuous to only brand Republicans in this light as the Dems are equally culpable. But then again, both the Reps and Dems are just different branches of the same big government, war loving, big spending party. The only difference is the Reps want corporate welfare and the dems want welfare for individuals. They're both the same wolves in sheep's clothing.

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SurfPuppy619 April 6, 2011 @ 10:51 a.m.

It would be disingenuous to only brand Republicans in this light as the Dems are equally culpable.

Me and Don brand BOTH parties as two sides of the same coin, bought and paid for with special interest $$$$$.

I think you too have the same opinion.

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Don Bauder April 6, 2011 @ 12:35 p.m.

I am not sure that in the totality of corruption, the two parties are EQUALLY culpable. Both are dirty -- no question. However, I think the Republicans are the worst of the two now. Take the new budget proposal. The Republicans (Rep. Ryan, actually) propose big hits to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. but at the same time they lower taxes for the rich and for corporations from 35% to 25%. That is simply proof that the Republicans are owned by the lobbies of big corporations, Wall Street, hedge funds, ad nauseam. Yes, the Democrats are owned by the same crooks, but they haven't made such outrageous budget proposals. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 6, 2011 @ 12:28 p.m.

Republicans are corrupt, and so are Democrats. I have never argued that point. However, there is no doubt that in the case of protecting for-profit colleges, and thus prolonging the student loan mess, the Republicans are more culpable. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 6, 2011 @ 9:58 p.m.

House Majority leader John Boehner is notorious for rigging the student loan system in favor of Sallie Mae, NelNet and the rest.

In fact his daughter works for Sallie Mae.

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tomjohnston April 6, 2011 @ 11:38 p.m.

Well, actually she works for a company that is owned by Sallie Mae. According to what Boehner says, she was working there before Sallie Mae bought the company about 10 yrs ago. Of course at the time, he was also chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor and Sallie Mae was one of his biggest campaign contributors, so you can draw your own conclusions.

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Don Bauder April 7, 2011 @ 7:03 a.m.

And those conclusions appear to smell. Pols and their families should avoid situations that raise eyebrows. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston April 7, 2011 @ 7:02 p.m.

I can't attest to the veracity of their claims, but here is a list of contributions made by Sallie Mae made between 1989 and 2008. Note the 3 top recipients. http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/09/update-fannie-mae-and-freddie.html

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SurfPuppy619 April 7, 2011 @ 10:53 a.m.

His daugther works for USAFunds, a wholly owned SLM company-so she works for SLM.

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tomjohnston April 7, 2011 @ 12:37 p.m.

Actually, unless she has changed jobs sinc December, she works for GRC, General Revenue Corporation, a collection agency that is a subsidiary of Sallie Mae. And while that means Sallie Mae "controls" GRC, legally speaking, it's a separate entity. Not that it makes any difference, really.

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SurfPuppy619 April 7, 2011 @ 5:19 p.m.

Then she switched jobs again, she used to work for SLM, then USAFunds, and now it looks like another SLM comany. She should not be working for a company her fathee is doing favors for-it is basically a quid pro quo scam.

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tomjohnston April 7, 2011 @ 6:49 p.m.

Well, I'm not going to say that she has never worked for USAFunds. And I'm not disagreeing it's wrong;I thought that came through in my my original comment. However, there are many articles as far back as 2006 and as recently as the end of 2010 saying she is employed by GRC and her father is on record as saying His daughter worked for General Revenue before Sallie Mae acquired the company in January of 2002. You can make your own claims or draw your own conclusions, but here's a link to one of the many articles; this one is from Jan of 2006. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-02-05-boehner-fundraising_x.htm

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Don Bauder April 7, 2011 @ 7:53 p.m.

You guys decide. Either way, it neither looks nor smells good. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston April 7, 2011 @ 9:26 p.m.

Nothing to decide, really. I have taken the time to do some looking and I haven't seen anything that says Tricia Boehner has worked for anyone but GRC since 2002 so I'll stick with it. Doesn't really mean that much, just trying to add a little info to the discussion. My bad.

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Don Bauder April 7, 2011 @ 7:52 p.m.

If it's wholly-owned, then she works for SLM. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 7, 2011 @ 9:49 p.m.

Maybe she was at USAFunds and SLM after, I cant recall. But I dont buy for a second that her employement has no relation to her fathers legislation.

SLM has bought numerous collection companies. They also own one called Pioneer that has been in trouble with the states.

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tomjohnston April 7, 2011 @ 10:38 p.m.

Never said it was, As I said, I thought my opinion was clear in my first comment on the subject

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Don Bauder April 7, 2011 @ 7:01 a.m.

And yet, last night (Wed. April 6), Obama, Reid and Boehner were supposedly trying to close the gap to stop a government shutdown. One of the pols said that Pell grants were one things the Democrats wouldn't give up. Pell grants are fine when used for legitimate purposes. However, the for-profit colleges such as Bridgepoint thrive on Pell grants that go to students who drop out quickly. Seems to me there could be selective trimming of Pell grants -- taking them away from the abusive for-profits. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 7, 2011 @ 11:51 a.m.

If you ever watch the court shows on television, you'll see that frequently students are suing their friends or lovers, etc., because they loaned money or bought things for people with their student loan money or grant money and then the borrower didn't pay it back.

I had a friend back in the mid 1980's who used his student loan money to invest in gold!!!

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Don Bauder April 7, 2011 @ 7:55 p.m.

Some Pell grants advance society, some advance for-profit colleges' profits, some are misused by the students. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 7, 2011 @ 11:49 a.m.

However, the for-profit colleges such as Bridgepoint thrive on Pell grants that go to students who drop out quickly

This is why schools with a default rate of over 20%-on ALL student loans- should be disqualified from the program.

These for profit-and many non-profit- schools are ripping off the system and have gotten away with this because the DoE ONLY uses default rate covering the first two years, and since it takes 9 months for a loan to actually default the time period really is only about the first year-15 months.

The 10 year default rate is over 30%, may be over 40% today, for some HBCU's it is over 50%.

The DoE is a revolving door for the student loan industry, these sham schools and sham loan servicers, like Sallie Mae, would never survive without the fraud fix they have in government.

I have sued them in court, more than once, and the whole process is rigged with from top to bottom.

Right now there are over $800 billion dollars in outstanding student loans, and if 30-40% are not able to be paid back that is a pretty significant loss, and it is NOT the students fault IMO-it is the fraudulent schools that have basically set up a large scale fraud by buying off polititicans, selling useless degrees that hae no chance of being a value in the real world, to increase income. Corruption similar to the sub-prime housing mess.

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Don Bauder April 7, 2011 @ 7:56 p.m.

That would be one way to handle Pell grants: eliminate them for schools with low graduation rates. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 7, 2011 @ 7:58 p.m.

I was afraid Brown would capitulate to the public employee unions that have always backed him, but his courageous and correct initiative to close redevelopment agencies would rankle his base. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 7, 2011 @ 9:50 p.m.

The redevelopment agencies are corporate welfare, they need to go-yesterday.

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Don Bauder April 8, 2011 @ 7:45 a.m.

In San Diego, yes: redevelopment is almost entirely corporate welfare. It isn't true in most other cities in the state. Best, Don Bauder

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