Subject: File No. S7-08-09
From: Robert Butikofer
Affiliation: Retired

July 1, 2009

Short selling has its place, however, naked shorts, when found, should be severly punished. But the real problem with short selling, is found in the hedge fund world. Because they all basically think alike, and have the keys to huge assets, they in essence, can "price fix" a stock either positively or negatively by "ganging" up at the same time. The average investor is powerless to stop them or even gets a fair chance to get out before they entirely ruin a stock. We saw that in the recent "crash" with the financials, as they picked them off one by one. It could be said that if a company was doing what it should be, that this would not be possible. I somewhat agree. However, with the huge sums of money that can be concentrated and any given time, even some of the largest cannot withstand the onslaught. There must be better regulation of the "hedgies" and transparancy. As businesses, they should fall under the same regulations as regular investment houses (i.e. Goldman or Morgan Stanley Smith Barney). Too much is done in the background and not enough in the light of day. Basically, the SEC is our only hope for curtailing these modern day robber barons. Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion.