May 22, 2009
According to documents, the uptick rule was removed from use after 70+ years of use. Media has noted that the removal of the uptick rule had no bearing on the movement of the stock price. If it had no bearing on the movement of the stock price, then why did we need to remove it? And secondly, why was it put into place in the 30's (following the crash of 1929?
This unabated rule change in 2007 does impact prices in that now those entities (ex: hedge funds) that sell short can drive the price indiscrimately lower without stopping. This does impact the small individual investors whose main investments occur within their 401k or similar retirement plans. These plans typically have "long only" mutual funds in which to choose. These small investors who follow the asset allocation strategies for their risk tolerance are not able to have the short-sell rules work for them.
I do beleive that recent product enhancements of short-interest exchange traded funds has allowed the individual investor the ability to participate in this strategy without opening a margin account to do so. Please do not do away with these assets.
If the removal of the up-tick rule had no effect on stock prices, then why have we recently had record short interest on the exchanges?
It is my belief that the rules should be made to level the playing field. While selling short is a strategy that can be useful, the ability of small investors to partake in these strategies is very limited. The playing field in my sense has been tilted toward those investors with significant amounts of capital to impact the price of stocks.
It is my suggestion that the "up-tick" rule be put back into regulation to its full force.
I also believe that other parts of this proposed legislation dealing with limits is not in the best interest of investors as it could create a "first one to the short-sell limits wins" mentality and would then exclude other investors from being able to partake in the strategy.