May 14, 2009
I am sure there are many eloquent comments both for and against the uptick rule so I will keep mine very simple. The longer I go through life the more I find the age old adage of "if it's not broke, don't fix it" is a good rule to live by. It is difficult to understand why this rule was changed in the first place.
The group who benefits..............mainly hedge funds.
The groups who are hurt include nearly every other member of our society. This includes the retail investors, pension funds, endowment funds and to a large degree mutual funds.
It is amazing how many average Joe's have no idea how these types of issues affect them. So many say that the stock market means nothing to them yet they are relying on their pension and 401k funds for retirement.
Another related issue is the non enforcement of current regulations like naked short selling. This is a critical issue that goes hand in hand with the uptick rule.
Although I certainly believe insider trading is an issue for the SEC, the impact to the market as a whole is minimal when compared to the damage done by not having an uptick rule and not enforcing naked short selling regulations. It makes great headlines that Mozilo will be charged but the SEC can spend its time much better by regulating the wealth destruction that happened to America last year and early this year.
Please do not look to the academics for answers, they contributed largely to the abolishment of the uptick rule in the first place with skewed theory and little practical experience in the matter.
We almost lost our entire financial system due to a number of factors but if anyone believes that the uptick rule and the non enforcement of naked short selling rules did not play a major role are only kidding themselves