1. Can it be hard-to-borrow with one clearance firrm, and easy-to-borrow with another clearance firm? 2. Is the carry cost of maybe 40% to 100% for retail traders only? Also institutional traders? Are market makers exempted from the carry cost? 3. Assuming there are traders who can short a htb stock without a carry cost, is it safe to assume it becomes hard-to-borrow when market makers take a big position betting against the stock (and acting as your and my counterparty)? 3b. Someone suggested everything below $3 is automatically called hard-to-borrow; is there any basis for this? 4. Does a market maker every have to cover upon a shortage of the stock?