May 5, 2009
The rational to eliminate the uptick rule I presume came from the idea that it would create more liquidity enabling spreads to be tighter and affording retail investors the ability to buy equities closer to their actual bid prices. Unfortunately this has done nothing but create severe damage to markets worldwide and has encouraged larger investors to manipulate individual stocks for their own benefit. The only reason anyone buys a stock is because they feel it is going to go up in price. There are 1000 reasons to sell a stock (buy a new car, send kid to college, ect.) and will sell at almost any price. Sellers are never scared away. Buyers, however, are very easily scared away and if they see too much selling pressure on a stock that they think they like they will always wait. I have witnessed officers of their own company being scared off from buying shares because it appeared that there was "something wrong" as the shares dropped. Short sellers are very savy and know exactly how to manipulate tick lines and plant false stories in the media to make a stock appear as if bad news is imminent when there may be nothing wrong at all. Reimplimenting the uptick rule and policing it as well as the naked short rule should help to discourage these practices. The only people to be truely upset would be short sellers, rogue brokers, dealers, and hedge funds who encourage these behaviors from their clients.