March 31, 2005
To whom it may concern: I have spent approx. 40 yrs. of my life either as an investor in the U.S. equity markets or employed by those markets. I was a stockbroker for 2 of the largest firms on Wall St. for 11 yrs. total and for the last 15 yrs. have managed money in the microcap markets.
I have NEVER in my lifetime seen anything as damaging to investors in small cap stocks as Sarbanes-Oxley. I have had a no. of cos. in which I have personal investments, voluntarily DELIST to escape the unweildly expenses of meeting the new reporting requirements. DELISTING is one of the worst things that can happen to your investment. Liquidity, which is usually lacking in small co. stocks anyway is virtually DONE AWAY WITH. Financial info. on your investment becomes non-existent and you virtually have in investment that, not only do you have no way to judge what it is really worth, but you have no way to sell it unless you take some market makers bid on the pink sheets, which is only his bid not the publics. Let me explain something about how a stock trades on the pink sheets. Good example is MHCO.PK. Right now bid is 4 ask is 4.75. The only way to get a trade consumated is to buy at the ask and sell at the bid. If I put in a order to buy or sell the stock at any other price, it will not execute and no other investors anywhere in America will even see my order. Example: I put in an order to sell 1000 shrs. at 4.50. Another investor out there who wants to buy MHCO has NO WAY to know I will sell at 4.50 because my order will never show anywhere. He will be forced to pay 4.75, the pink sht. mkt. makers price. In other words the market maker completely sets both bid and ask prices because his are the only prices that show up to the general public. He, in essence, controls the price of the stock and raises and lowers it to line his own pockets at the expense of the public and to the detriment of the co. This is the kind of situation you are forcing thousands of investors into when cos. delist their stocks. VOLUNTARY DELISTING should be ILLEGAL because it takes away investors source of financial info. and takes away their ability to even be able to buy and sell the shrs. of stock because the public auction method of supply and demand setting the stock price is completely removed. Investors are getting their money stolen from them and soon there will be NO INVESTORS and NO SMALL CAP STOCK MARKETS and NO WAY for small cos. to raise capital in the public markets. And then maybe NO AMERICA as the system that helped make it so great has been wiped out be people making legislation without understanding how it really affects the capitalistic system. Its all so sad and makes me feel very helpless and disheartened. I truly hope we somehow get this fixed.
Yours truly -- a sad American