May 6, 2009
Our military functions so well because they live by 3 simple words which are keep it simple. I encourage the SEC to forge new shorting requirements with this in mind. I suggest that they implement the following:
1-Re-instate the uptick rule. There are many who say it doesn't change anything but if that was the case why was it repealed after working for almost 70 years? If it doesn't matter than why would any one care if it is reinstated.
2- In the spirit of keeping it simple, everyone who shorts a stock has to own it. That goes for brokerages, hedge funds and the regualr retail investor. In order to short the stock you have to buy it first. If you don't own it, you can't short it. This would make everyones life easier from the SEC enforcement division to the everyday Joe.
3-No lending of stock by brokerages to other companies looking to short. If everyone has to play by suggestion 2 above this wouldn't be an issue but it kills me that I can buy a stock as a long term investment only to have MY brokerage turn around and lend it out to someone who then shorts it and drives down the stock price from which I am invested. No wonder the average investor has no confidence in Wall Street or the government agencies who are supposed to protect us from such scrupulous actions.
4-Punishment, if the laws are written simply enough so that they are black and white and they are still broken than there has to be consequences where the fines are so punitive that they will not be broken. In addition, repeat offenders should face jail time in addition to monetary fines. White collar crime affects us all just as much as someone putting a gun in our faces and stealing our wallets, the only difference is these criminals do it in anonymity.