May 6, 2009
I was the licensed COO of the brokerage firm that became Wachovia Securities, now Wells Fargo Advisors. The NYSE floor brokers reported to me, as did the Stock Loan Dept. I know the mentality of those involved and the mechanisms used. The changes made to the rules were ill-advised and must be changed. The only chatter used to defend them is a detached argument for argument's sake, "Gee, if you can buy I should be able to sell." Hardly the issue. Go ahead. Sell. But, just like I must do, you must settle in three days. Period. What's so hard about that?
I have read the comments, here and elsewhere, and it is obvious we all want a return to the way things were. Some will argue the details of exactly which type of tick monitoring is best. Fine, go through that and decide. Do it pragmatically, not academically. Then face up to this: No thinking person believes you should be able to sell what you do not own, or cannot borrow. No one thinks you should settle a sale in a different time frame than a buy. Let's be done with this.