March 27, 2008
The stock market is one of many investment vehicles designed to allow one to (hopefully) increase their wealth by investing in this country's infrastructure and manufacturing companies. Initially only the wealthy had access to it because of their education, connections, and cash to invest. It has always been a cutthroat business and its history is full of stories of greed, scandal, broken lives and companies directly resulting from trading practices both legal and illegal.
Some abuses caused rules to be changed or enacted to protect investors but greed ultimately finds a way to circumvent the rules.
In the modern day market we see the same players that have always been in the market but now a new group has been added since the internet has become part of almost everyones life. That group is the average American amateur investor. This group now has a way to participate in the stock market without being wealthy or well connected. This group has dreams of becoming wealthy or just improving their financial security but the game is and always has been rigged in the veteran players favor.
The market is now full of stories and lawsuits about naked shorting. A subject that the SEC publicly stated a couple of years ago didnt exist and now seeks comments for a rule concerning it. I invested in an upstart mining company called CMKX and watched the price be driven down to .00001 of a cent while often billions of shares were traded each and every day.
The company was eventually revoked and in the wrap up of its affairs wanted to distribute shares of another mining company that it held to legitimate shareholders. A task force was formed and a cert pull was accomplished. The task force announced as a matter of public record that more shares (both paper and electronic) existed than the company had authorized and that the overage was in the TRILLIONS. Obviously CMKX was naked shorted because there is no other way the market could have trillions more shares in it than existed.
This happened to CMKX and it most certainly has happened to many other companies. But the problem is there are already rules on the books that say NAKED SHORTING is ILLEGAL We all know any of us can short a stock. But none of us can NAKED short a stock. Yet it happens and the price is driven down to a level that few can even express and the SEC allows this to happen.
If you really feel new rules are required then maybe they are but to me an amateur investor, with the ability to read can see that it already is and has been for generations, illegal to naked short a stock. Why cant our regulatory agencies enforce the rules we have? Why cant the SEC protect people like me? Instead the SEC protects only the veteran players that appear to be above the rules. If they can't or won't enforce the rules we have do we have any reason to think a new rule would be enforced?
If the rules were enforced and shareholders of naked shorted companies that have been destroyed were compensated then the average investor would know that times have changed and playing field was leveled. Until that happens rules such as this one are window dressing.