There are rumors floating around that Bear Stearns was the victim of a bear raid. That's when you short the stock and then use one of a variety of manipulations--such as spreading rumors that Bear Stearns might be insolvent--to make the stock plunge so you make a killing.

No doubt the share price--currently $5.58--is being buoyed in part by short covers. But a deliberate conspiracy? Bear raids are illegal, and the SEC is a bit touchy right now--and of course, shorting financial stocks wasn't exactly an original idea these last six months. I'm also suspicious that so far no one I know who works on Wall Street has offered this as a potential explanation. Readers?