May 29, 2009
Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I have three points regarding trade failures which would greatly curb them.
I believe that the period for trade settlement should be shortened to T+1. In this age of electronic trading, any longer settlement period risks catering to, by prolonging the effects of, would be manipulators. And, it should be mandated that all paper stock certificates must be converted to electronic form before they may enter a trade, as to eliminate that aspect of delivery failure.
Secondly, any trade shares not delivered within T+1 ( or at present, T+3) must be clearly marked as "undelivered" and "without ownership privileges" in the investment account of the buyer in a method clearly visible and understandable to the average retail investor, until such share delivery verifiably occurs. As presently exists, sellers may fail to deliver, and that failure may last weeks and months, while the purchaser is being misled that they have beneficial ownership of actual shares, when, in fact, they merely have securities entitlements in their account. Once failed to deliver shares are marked as such, the investor may act accordingly to promote fairer and more honest markets. Trade settlement transparency is tantamount to the investors confidence in a fair market. Where ever FTD's continue to exist unmarked in investor accounts, deception and fraudulent market practice exists.
Lastly, if a shorter "fails to deliver" upon the passing of the trade settlement period, they must be penalized financially in a measure that significantly punishes them for such a breach of market contract, and where the penalty is awarded to the "buyer". And, also, the FTD "seller" must be penalized in a measure severe enough to warrant future care to avoid such failures before they occur, with that amount kept by the appropriate trade settlement enforcement agency .
Market rules must aim for fair and honest markets. At present, the rule making procedures have been unfairly tipped to benefit the industry and their wealthiest clients. Any aim short of the fairest and most honest markets attainable is in contradiction with, and violation of the intent of the 1934 Securities Act.
US citizen and, at present, former investor.