July 21, 2008
Effective January 3, 2005, new short sale rules were implemented, including a uniform locate requirement for short sales in all equity securities and additional requirements for broker-dealers trading securities in which a substantial amount of failures to deliver have occurred (Regulation SHO Threshold Securities)
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had amended Regulation SHO to eliminate the grandfather provision effective October 15, 2007. Now the SEC is looking for comments on further changes in the regulations. Why? All the comments in the world will not enforce the existing rules and laws that are already on the books. If only the SEC would enforce existing laws regarding illegal short selling, maybe it would not have been so profitable that companies have been shorted to death and put out of business.
Why are hundreds of stocks still on the Regulation SHO Threshold List? Why hasnt the SEC been enforcing existing laws and regulations? Why are some stocks on the SHO list for months and in some cases years? Will the failure to deliver shares ever be required to cover?
Commissioner Cox as proposed that illegal short selling be stopped against 19 financial instructions. I fell it is ironic that he was looking for special powers to enforce existing laws. But why stop with 19 companies? That is a start, but why not ALL companies that are publicly traded?
I not only feel existing laws should be enforced, but further steps should be taken to prevent any further erosion of the investing publics confidence. They include the following:
1) Force existing SHO threshold list stocks to be covered within 10 days, or face fines and forced buy ins.
2) Reinstating the up tick rule.
3) Require legal shorts to disclose their position in a company. Currently institutions and mutual funds are required to report all long positions in securities. All shares that are barrowed and shorted should be required to be posted as well.
These small changes and the strict enforcement of existing laws will help restore investor confidence and bring credibility back to the SEC.