April 21, 2007
I endorse wholeheartedly the recommendations cited in the April 19, 2007 letter written by NCANS. For your reference, the letter is located here:
I urge the SEC to implement the recommended changes contained in that letter immediately.
In any other transaction in America, the sale of something you do not own is fraud. How on earth the SEC decided that fraud in the capital markets should be grandfathered, let alone permitted and even possible, is beyond comprehension.
There is no reason to wait any long to act on this matter in such a way to benefits all investors equally. There is no reason to give market makers or anybody else any exemptions or special status which amount to unequal treatment under the law.
I urge the SEC to mandate the implementation of new systems that will make naked shorting impossible. Banks and brokerages, and even corner store merchants, have no problem debiting and crediting monies, shares and inventories of milk cookies instantaneously. So there is no reason why a trade settlement system that operates in real time is not already in place. There should be no "netting", rather, all shares and all trades should be documented, recorded, and settled through a centralized system that would literally prevent naked shorting and other abuses, intentional or accidental. Such a system would also make it much easier for the SEC to investigate financial crimes such as front loading.
I also urge that more real time data be made accessible to investors, including real-time short interest reporting and expanded access to derivatives data to even the playing field in the markets. I urge that the SEC mandate short disclosure, just as it requires 5% ownership disclosure, when any one entity controls shorts beyond a threshold of 0.5% of a common stock.
While I appreciate the opportunity to comment on this matter, I believe the SEC's extension of the commentary period is symptomatic of the problem. Why delay any further what the SEC already knows in its heart is wrong and under the law is unjust? Making the markets fair and equitable can be done, should be done, and must be done. In this age of computers that all banks and brokerages and exchanges use with regularity, there is no reason to allow an antiquated methodology to manage the back end - especially as it has been continually exploited for illegal and unethical gains.
Please act with the swiftness and urgency that this matter needs.