U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Comments on SEC Concept Release:
Short Sales

The following information was submitted by 1516 individuals.

Subject: Short Sales (Release No. 34-42037; File No. S7-24-99)

Comments: I am writing you this letter to show that I am in favor of the proposed Concept Release (No. 34-42037; File No. S7-24-99). It is known that the life blood of a small company is access to capital for creation and growth. It is also known that investors who place funds in such companies expect and deserve protection from fraud and manipulation. Small business is a critical building block for jobs and wealth in our economy. MMs have steadily been selling more shares than they have bought, defying the laws of supply and demand, solid company fundamentals and favorable company press releases, resulting in plummeting stock prices. The laws of supply and demand have been denied and investors deprived of fair value. Meanwhile, the company valuation of stock has been greatly reduced and with it, access to investment capital for acquisitions and growth.

The MMs are supposed to provide a fair market trading mechanism, yet ,when they become invested through shorting, they actually have a vested interest in seeing the price fall. This practice must be brought under some form of control.

The Securities Act provides certain protective language as it relates to investors. Section 15A(b)(6) of the Securities Act says that the rules of a national securities association must be designed, among other things to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices and to protect investors and the public interest, and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market. Section 15A(b)(11) requires that association rules be designed to produce fair and information quotations, and to prevent fictitious and misleading quotations. In spite of the intent expressed by these two sections of the Securities Act, and unlike the Nasdaq, NYSE and AMEX, MMs are not required by the SEC to disclose short positions on OTCBB stocks.

The MMs can short, even naked short, at will with no checks and balances on OTCBB stocks. This leaves the OTCBB listed companies prey to market manipulation on a scale only limited by the greed and imagination of the MMs. The MMs just keep selling the targeted companies stocks with the idea that they will never have to produce real shares. Their apparent goal is to force the company to fail by depriving it of working capital and discouraging investment. It is my belief billions of dollars are being stolen from investors in this manner. For the MMs, it's a wonderful business; sort of like selling insurance, but never having to pay claims. They get the money, but have no expense or expectation of delivering anything tangible in return. This unfair and counter productive practice cannot go on. 

MMs must be held accountable by requiring mandatory disclosure of MM short positions on all OTCBB listed stocks. In this manner, excessive shorting can be made known to the investing public, monitored for excess and corrected by the SEC/NASD. Then and only then can investors in these stocks be treated with the appropriate protection against fraud and manipulation.


Modified: 04/11/2002