May 20, 2009
I have been investing for 39 years. I worked for Quotron back in the 80's. I think I know a lot about markets and how they work.
At times I have used short selling to balance my portfolio and for outright speculation. In the past under the uptick rule I noticed very poor executions. I believe the market makers simply took advantage of my at-the-market orders. I believe these same market makers were exempted from the uptick rule.
There have been major improvements in the markets over recent years. The Internet allows individuals to compete at the same level as the big Wall Street traders. Getting rid of the 1/8 fractional ticks was a big step forward. Another step forward was the elimination of the uptick rule.
Reinstatement of the uptick rule would be a step backward. There is no evidence of market manipulation, unless you take Government actions into consideration. It seems to me that people are looking for a convenient scapegoat.
My recommendation is to leave things alone. Do not reinstate the uptick rule as it was before. If you feel you need to do something then use some sort of circuit breaker. Do not exempt market makers. Plus, you should force more short sales information to be available sooner and on a frequent basis. Expose large short positions and who is behind them.