May 9, 2008
The cost/benefit analysis fails to consider the impact of the negative perception of the entire market by the small investor. I speak for one retiree who feels that the entire nature of the market has changed from long term investing to more of a casino gamble. It has changed how and what I will consider an investment.
The perception is that the odds are clearly stacked against the small investor. The "house" clearly has the edge, and naked short selling is one of those drivers. So what to do???
Make the penalty worthy of the crime and enforce with a vengence. You can write/issue more and more rules but they will not be followed unless those involved agree that the downside makes violation too heavy a price to pay.