May 27, 2009
Strong and diligently enforced controls, including the uptick rule and restraints on naked short selling, are needed immediately to prevent the abuses and bear raids occuring in the markets. As an individual investor observing events over the past two years, it is clear to me that the markets are subject to manipulation. It seems that abusive short sellers can target a stock with a specific price in mind and then orchestrate a series of steps to drive the price down to that level, generating huge profits by hitting their target price.
It is important for the SEC to go after the manipulation that happens every day using "accepted" methods or just skirting the rules. It's discouraging that the SEC tends to focus mainly on insider trading which is the least of the problems - that is not what destroyed trillions in wealth plus investor confidence.
In addition to the intentional abuses, I believe that unbridled ignorance has played a role in the destruction of the financial stocks in particular. Many supposed pundits and professional investors do not understand complex financial statements and derivatives, yet think nothing of making public statements that banks are "insolvent" based on their incomplete and clumsy assessments. I am shocked that this is allowed. Aren't there any retrictions against this peanut gallery making such destructive statements about financial institutions that are critical to our country? I am hopeful and thankful that the Fed's thorough, expert, and detailed Stress Tests for the banks have brought an end to "amateur night".