May 5, 2009
I believe that short selling is a very important part of our financial markets. However, I also believe that it should be done in a way which protects individual retail investors. Those of us who can't easily short the market, except through the leveraged ETFs that don't work at all, need to know that we're all investing on a level playing field. So I'd like to see short positions for all institutions and hedge funds reported at least on a weekly basis. This type of information helps us "long" investors, too. Also, since naked short selling is illegal, it should be strictly enforced with very high penalties and announcements of the violators, which would curb the practice quickly. In addition, the share delivery requirements should be strictly enforced and absolutely no extensions should be allowed. And finally, the previous uptick rule, which worked well for over 70 years, must be restored. Using academic studies during a raging bull market to justify repealing this rule was ridiculous. But then allowing the large investment banks to leverage up to 40% was ridiculous, too. I hope the SEC Commissioners will have the courage to admit their mistake of taking away the uptick rule and not enforcing other short selling regulations by making the appropriate changes to protect "small investors" who are simply trying to save for the future. Thank you for your consideration.