Report: Rep. Frank Says Uptick Rule Should Be Restored 'Within a Month'
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the head of the House Financial Services committee, said that the SEC should restore the so-called "uptick" rule within a month, Reuters is reporting.
The uptick rule forces short-sellers to sell at a price higher than the previous trade. It was put in place by the SEC following the Great Depression and rescinded in 2007.
Here's a good explanation of the rule and its possible impact, from TheStreet.com:
"The rule was designed as a guardrail that slowed down the short-selling process, preventing shorts from driving the price of a stock at a faster clip.
In a short sale, an investor borrows stock from a broker, sells it to other investors, and hopes to buy it back at a lower price later before returning it to the original lender. The difference in the transactions is kept as a profit.
The SEC made the controversial decision to eliminate the uptick rule in June 2007 after its analysis showed it did little to prevent the manipulation of share prices. Of course, many market participants point to the move as the catalyst that helped short sellers thrive in 2008.
Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying before Congress, said if the rule were still in place it "might have had some benefit" in preventing the market meltdown."
"I've spoken to Chair (Mary) Schapiro of the SEC. I am hopeful the uptick rule will be restored within a month," Frank said, Reuters reports. "Mary is moving towards the uptick rule, which some people think is very important, some people think it's not important, nobody thinks it does any harm. I think that will go back (into effect)."
March 10, 2009; 12:57 PM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: Barney Frank, uptick rule
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