Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reinstate the Uptick Rule!

If you visit the zoo one day, and find that, the tigers and lions are wandering around... their cages removed; that's essentially, what Wall Street is like without the uptick rule in place. It's not safe for investors, because the uptick rule served as an important investor protection. Since its removal, short sellers have engaged in bear raids, where they sell a large quantity of shares of a company's stock rapidly to drive the price of that stock down, therefore creating panic selling, so they can buy it back later at a lower price and profit from it. So, why did/does the SEC grant so much power and control to greedy, self-interested short sellers? And why hasn't it been reinstated by now?

Schapiro's agenda has also been driven by political pressure, says James J. Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University who has advised stock exchanges. Democrat Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee—one of the SEC's overseers—said at a Mar. 10 press conference that after speaking with the SEC boss, he was "hopeful" that "within a month" she would reinstate the uptick rule; it requires that investors wait for a stock to rise before betting against it, which prevents short-sellers from piling on. In April, Schapiro proposed the rule—only to postpone it.
In no other legal and ethical commercial endeavor in this country can you sell something you do not own. Such a design is usually punishable in criminal court as fraud, but for some reason Wall Street acts like this a God given right, and today, despite the massive plundering that took/takes place, it's just business as usual. Until the uptick rule is reinstated, short sellers still have a free license to steal from investors.

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