March 18, 2008
The stock exchange has long been a meter to judge the value of a company and the attitude of people towards it. (Warrent Buffet compared it to two kinds of measuring devices... long and short term).
The cornerstone of this concept is trust and fair play. Naked shorting has been revealed to be not only real, but able to have significant effect on the market. When an activity much like passing bad checks can bankrupt a perfectly good company, rob investors of their holdings and make an obscene amount of money for those that cause this to happen through illegal means, trust starts to erode very quickly and you have a mess on your hands.
The Reg SHO was a good start. However, some ambiguous list of Threshold Securities without ever a way affirm fraud or FORCE closure and settlment of failed deliveries has become just another curtain of privacy for those who conduct criminal activity of intentional Naked Shorting.
Please level the playing field and just force people, businesses, brokerages, funds, etc to be accountable in their trading behavior. Note that a $2M "fine" on an illegally gained profit of $200M is not really a fine at all, but just a very cheap license to continue along...
Jail Time and Multifold Restitution of Damages must be insisted upon when fraud is detected, investigated and PROVEN. But you have to put the tools in place. With today's technology, there is no reason why trades cannot settle virtually immediately. Naked short is something that just should NEVER happen. Unless of course, the dog really did eat the certificate... unlikely, and there are ways to mitigate that risk too.