April 10, 2008
The Commission is strongly urged to adopt the proposed "CUSTOMER ACCOUNT RULE" as submitted by the National Investor Protection Coalition contained in File No. 4-557. No investor is fully informed under the present methods employed by Broker/Dealers (apparently sanctioned by the SEC) as to exactly what type and value of securities which are held in their accounts. If the account holds a so called "Securities Entitlement" as a result of the actual security not being delivered at T-3, the investor certainly is not getting what they contracted or paid for. Presumably the investor/purchaser contracted for a bonafide security issued by the Company and legally registered with the SEC for sale in the securities market, and not an unregistered futures contract issued by some Broker/Dealer. As investors, we pay for a real ownership position in a company when we purchase shares of it's common stock, and as such, expect that company to fulfill it obligation to us as owners. How can we hold a company responsible as true owners, when all we have is an unregistered electronic blip from a Broker/Dealer, of which, the company is unaware. In fact the company is harmed by the erosion of their share price resulting in increased capital costs as well as other factors due to these unidentified phantom shares circulating in the marketplace. The investor is harmed by having something which certainly is less than full title and rights to a portion of that company, and it's resultant reduced value in the marketplace. This kind of action by Wall Street, and currently condoned by the SEC, is not the type of thing which instills confidence and integrity in the markets, not to mentioned an apparent violation of the Securities Acts.
The SEC needs to very promptly take all necessary steps to assure the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are fully complied with. One such step is to promptly adopt the "Customer Account Rule" as proposed in File No. 4-557 and then enforce it.