July 15, 2008
SEC Chairman Christopher Cox:
Is anybody home?
I urge you to reinstate the up-tick rule immediately. I urge you to require a firm pre-borrow for short sellers, and that the borrowed shares be set apart to prevent any duplicate borrowing. I urge you to make no exceptions -- for any options market maker, any specialist, or anyone.
It is truly amazing that the comments on this Regulation SHO rule that was created by the SEC for the benefit of the few who control the securities market has been extended. Again?
It is truly amazing that the up-tick rule was eliminated without comment. It is truely amazing that when the evidence of increased volatility and damage to the markets became apparent, it was not reinstated without comment.
Well, maybe these things are not really amazing, because I expect it to continue until the next administration appoints a new chairman and new commissioners.
Someone with a backbone.
You have data showing the damage these Rules have facilitated.
There is so much liquidity in the market that the volatility has eliminated many individual investors. Only in the United Sates of America have drops in market capitalization been so stunning in small companies.
I believe it benefits the hedge funds -- well, that is a given. It could just as easily benefit an unfriendly source pent on ruining our economy through the security markets. I believe it benefits the media who promote and ravage public companies at will with unsubstantiated opinions provided to them by "a well respected but unnamed" analyst or source.
Let's see how this could work. The media promotes the value of "Company A" suggesting the company will be bought out by "Company B" and suggests what share price the company's intrinsic value supports. Share price spikes on volume. Hedge fund sells short, failing to deliver the naked shares since he didn't borrow them. Company A and Company B insist they are not in talks of a merger. Share price drops. Hedge fund does not buy to cover his short sell. He can wait. He is free to wait since he didn't borrow and doesn't pay rent for the un borrowed shares, and this company pays no dividend.
It was a good start, but not good enough. Now the media says that the same Company A is in trouble and the value of the company is less than the share price. Company A says all is well. The price drops. But, not enough. Now the media says that FBR, e.g., has dropped the target price 20% because of a re-evaluation of estimated earnings. The price drops. But not enough. Now, this public company, is attacked by the media for mismanagement and the price drops, but not enough -- even though the share price is down 35% from the beginning of this well orchestrated media attack. It's not enough.
Every time the media has attacked Company A, the short sellers dropped the price with 100 share lots asking price a penny below, and sometimes more, the current ask price whenever the "last price" drops a penny or more. Pretty slick since there is no longer an up-tick rule. He drops the price at will, and with the cooperation of media and message board FUDsters, he forces out the weak hands and easily slides the price down, until he eventually covers.
Is this how you envisioned Regulation SHO? What could it hurt? Just a little up and down movement, pitching it as providing liquidity to the markets, nearly or completely taking out small businesses -- and now large ones as well.
Along the way came destruction of wealth across the United States of America -- to the nobody investor, who did his due diligence, and found good companies to invest in. Didn't matter though, because the rules weren't written to protect that investor.
There ought to be a law against it. It ought to be enforced.
Do your job.