May 16, 2009
Mary Schapiro has apparently made up HER mind on the uptick issue as reported in BusinessWeeks interview with BARTIROMO (hedgefund honey herself) posted today:
As you know, the SEC is seeking public comment on whether to permanently restrict short-selling. Dont short-sellers perform a function by identifying companies with weak management or faulty strategies? Or are we talking about fraud in some cases?
Well, I think we are talking about fraud in some cases. And I agree with you that theres a valuable role thats played by short-selling. It brings information into the marketplace thats incredibly useful and valuable. I think all were talking about at the SEC when we talk about restricting short-selling is a sort of speed bump that slows the descent of stocks during these particularly volatile times. And so weve put out multiple proposals. A couple of them are broad, short-selling speed bumps, and then a couple are stock-specific, more like a circuit breaker approach. If a stock declines, say, 10% within a day, then a circuit breaker might kick in and either that stock couldnt be sold short for a period of time or maybe then an uptick rule kicks in for that stock. And well obviously get tons and tons of comment on this, but I have heard from hundreds, maybe thousands, of investors really feeling its appropriate to slow this process down. At the end of the day, the stocks going to find its natural price. But that abuse of short-selling may well have contributed to some of the problems were facing right now.
Obviously, shes going to let stocks die in 10% intervals.