May 17, 2009
Re-establishment of the uptick or "Joe Kennedy rule" is needed to reduce the ability of the larger short sellers
(Hedge funds, etc) to abuse a stock's pricing in the downward direction without any controls in place. The repeal of that rule by the SEC in 2007 was a gross agency mistake that must be corrected as soon as possible to alow an orderly functioning of the markets now and in the future.
It is interesting to note that the repeal was made without any significant public input but the re-instatement now takes a prolonged amount of time. In this economic crisis that time is not available allowing more damage to occur to the markets in the mean time. As such, urgent and timely action should be taken by the SEC and/or Congress to correct the error and prevent further damage. While the uptick rule is very beneficial, the SEC and Congress should agressively look at other functional controls to prevent market manipulation. It is obvious that the markets need this kind of control to function properly.
I would also suggest that the SEC procedures and internal controls that allowed this error to be made be thoroughly investigated. Suitable actions should be taken against both public and private culpable parties that allowed such an error to occur in the first place. The removal of this rule clearly played a significant part in the recent market crisis and loss of market capital.