July 28, 2008
To Whom it May Concern:
I have reviewed your web site and find no specific way to comment on your policy making regarding short selling so I am using this link although it is not optimal.
I was and am convinced that the SEC needs to continue a strict enforcement of the short sellers rule that requires agreements for borrowing stocks be locked into place before shorts are placed. I also believe that you need to reinstitute the uptick rule.
There is no doubt that many financials have a weakened balance sheet, lower or negative earnings and are struggling. The housing crisis is real and very serious. The destruction of the securitization market for mortgages is also real and very serious. The asset crisis is real and the biggest liquidity crisis of our times is fast approaching. The Fed's actions are not enough. It is equally obvious to me as a long time and long term investor, that some market participants are not playing on a level and fair playing field, they are shorting more than the amount of available stock, and that the market volatility and downside on financials is not justified by real supply and demand imbalances. The fact that many banks had to put manual guidelines and systems in place to handle your requirement, tells me how loosely monitored the old system was.
The SEC has failed us by not adequately regulating the market players. Your laissez-faire policy stance toward regulation and enforcement, your favoritism (as perceived by me) towards hedge funds and private equity players, your unwillingness to push for greater transparency, has helped lead us into crisis mode.
I strongly suggest that you begin to function as the regulator we need and publish specific steps (with quantitative goals) and weekly monitoring reports that track actual enforcement of policy. Enforce the short sales rules and reinstitute the uptick rule.
Julia E. McCabe