May 7, 1999
Jonathan G. Katz
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
450 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20549
Re: S7-5-99 Comment Letter
Dear Mr. Katz:
The purpose of this letter is to urge you to reject the re-proposed amendments to Rule 15c2-11 under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as more fully set forth in Release No. 34-41110. The proposed amendments would not only fail to accomplish the goals of the Commission to diminish fraud and manipulation in microcap securities but would also unfairly burden reputable market makers with an excessive and unmanageable level of risk exposure.
Wien Securities Corp. has been engaged in wholesale market making activities for almost eighteen years. OTC Bulletin Board issues represent a significant portion of our business. While the firm wholeheartedly supports changes to rules and regulations that result in decreases in fraud and manipulation in the microcap securities market, we cannot support the amendments, as proposed, since they would unfairly disadvantage microcap issuers, shareholders and market makers.
We believe that the proposed amendments would result in undue costs, expenses and risks to market makers. As a consequence, many legitimate market makers would cease doing business in microcap securities. This in turn would reduce liquidity in the marketplace and open the door for less than reputable firms to enter the microcap market. The unintended result of the proposed amendments might actually contribute to rather than diminish manipulation and fraud in the microcap securities market.
Wien Securities Corp. cannot support the proposed amendments in their present form. We respectfully recommend the Commission reject any amendments to Rule 15c2-11 until it determines conclusively that the intended benefits are not outweighed by the resultant burdens placed on microcap shareholders, issuers and market makers.
Stephen S. Wien
Executive Vice President