May 15, 2009
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to support proposed changes in short selling on major equity exchanges. I believe that abolition of the uptick rule and uncontrolled short selling contributed VERY significantly in the past two years to the extreme market volatility and the enormous decline in the value of equities that we have seen.
I would like to see naked short selling generally banned a general uptick rule should be restored to prevent speculators, including large-scale hedge funds or large mega-investors (mutual funds, individuals with billion-dollar wealth portfolios, foreign national investment funds or other speculative entities) from driving the common stocks of good or even great companies down to the point where those companies are destroyed and equity holders, pension beneficiaries, debt holders, large or small, are severely damaged for no good reason.
While some degree of speculation is healthy and/or necessary to free market stock exchanges, we have seen what I call large-entity financial behemoths literally destroy companies by spurring short selling on such a scale as to reduce a company's equity to a point where that company literally becomes bankrupt, based on the decline on its underlying asset values, debt ratings, etc. Victims of vicious, uncontrolled short selling in many cases have been squeezed into forced liquidations with all the disruptions incumbent to such situations. Such pure speculation only rewards greed and damages the public welfare as well as fueling further cycles of uncontrolled speculation in other stocks.
Let's put a stop to such out-of-control speculation. Let's restore the power to the SEC to really regulate sales WHEN it is in the public interest, including the power to step in and stop trading in a particular stock when things get out of hand (I'm aware of computerized rules affecting overall exchanges currently in effect, but these may not protect individual companies). The tools you are proposing will protect profitable companies and their shareholders as well as the public which receives good value from such companies. Greed will not trump common sense or reasonable risk assumed by shareholders who purchased stock in a good company believing that the value that company actually delivers deserves some degree of protection by our investment system's regulatory apparatus.
Dr. Jack Turteltaub Portland, Oregon