Monday, March 16, 2009

Naked Short Selling

A Few (Negative) Words about Naked Short Selling
TheCorporateCounsel.Net blog, March 16, 2009, by Broc Romanek:

When the market surged 6% last Tuesday, it was allegedly due to the rumor that the SEC would bring back the "uptick" rule (on Friday, the SEC announced it will hold an April 8th Commission meeting to propose a new uptick rule). The use of short selling by hedgies to move markets for their own gain was discussed during the conversation between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer on Thursday. Add us to the chorus that something has to be done about short-selling. And something different than the SEC's emergency short-selling restrictions implemented last Fall, which some argue had no impact.
We've always believed that naked short selling is a form of manipulation, particularly when it occurs near the market's opening and close (even if it's part of a hedging strategy, it's often still manipulative). There now have been a number of stories revealing what short sellers have been doing over the past few years and it's clear that this is destructive behavior.
It's time that the SEC and other regulators step up. Otherwise, this is one more aspect of "deregulation" that will continue to allow some to artificially manipulate stock prices - and feed the widespread belief that the markets aren't safe.

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