May 5, 2009
Please institute an uptick rule based on the last sale price as soon as possible.
Basing such a rule on a bid price invites gaming the system with a bid designed to be less likely to be accepted followed immediately by renewed short selling. Using an actual price blocks that.
The circuit breaker proposals do not solve the problem of "bear raids." They only ensure that a decline beyond the "circuit-breaker" limit is spread over more than one day. They might have some utility as a backstop to an uptick rule but would be of very limited value by themselves.
Concentrated campaigns to drive down the price of a stock amount to market manipulation of the worst kind. They are especially malignant when the target is a bank whose legally required capital ratios will be damaged by a deliberate driving down of the price of its common stock.
There was very good reason to institute the original uptick rule in the 1930s. The events of the last few years make it abundantly clear that those reasons are still very much with us.
Please also place a high priority on pursuing and prosecuting the practice known as "naked short selling" - selling a security one neither owns nor haas borrowed. Doing so not only makes it possible for would-be market manipulators to overwhelm actual, legitimate market forcesl it is, to put it as plainly as possible, fraud. What else is selling something you do not have possession of?