May 22, 2009
As an active trader, I am strongly OPPOSED to the uptick rule being reinstated.
The uptick rule was correctly removed by the SEC because it was obsolete. This rule was created in the 1930s in a stock market in which every trade was made in one central location (NYSE) and all went thru a specialist. Furthermore, there were wider spreads (1/8th not pennies as there are today). In a global electronic trading environment, the uptick rule does not work. There are often thousands of trades made across various ECNs (Electronic Communications Networks) in seconds. The uptick rule cannot possibly stop the decline of a stock if investors want to sell. The downward spiral of several of the financial stocks this past year was due to fundamental problems within these companies. Anyone who thinks that the lack of the uptick rule had anything to do with the decline in financial stocks does not understand how a global electronic marketplace now works. To reinstate a rule such as this would be counterintuitive and backward thinking.
Although I fundamentally disagree with restrictions to short sellers, I do think that a 'Circuit Breaker' type approach on specific stocks could slow the downward momentum in dire times (such as the financial meltdown experienced last year). However, although this approach makes much more sense then reinstating an obsolete rule, any type of restrictions such as these will cause bubbles and a false sense of security in the marketplace. Furthermore, they will decrease liquidity and make our markets less efficient.
Thank you for allowing us to voice our opinion.