David Kirkpatrick

April 7, 2009

Short-selling regulation

I see the SEC is looking into placing new restrictions on short-selling. A terrible idea and one that sends the entirely wrong idea to the market. Do we have a capitalist economy, or not?

I agree some regulation [ … kills me to write that] in the financial and public sector needs to come to pass, but this accomplishes nothing aside from cheap public relations. If the markets are so weak selling short is capable of breaking them, maybe they should be broken.

From the link:

The Securities and Exchange Commission is carefully weighing options for reining in rushes of short-selling that can sink stock prices and will work seriously on a plan to give shareholders access to annual corporate ballots for directors, the agency’s chief said Monday.

SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and the other four SEC commissioners are scheduled to vote Wednesday on new short-selling rules _ a change being pushed by investors and lawmakers _ and are expected to put forward several separate proposals for public comment.

“We will be very deliberative in our effort to determine what is in the best interest of investors,” Schapiro said in an address to a conference of the Council of Institutional Investors, a group representing public, corporate and union pension funds that together have an estimated $3 trillion in assets.

The SEC will open for comment a proposal to reinstate the so-called uptick rule or take other measures designed to stem market dislocation caused by excesses of short selling, which involves betting against a stock.

February 9, 2009

Watch out — the SEC is back in business

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:47 pm

And baring teeth.

From the link:

The new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission is ending a practice that she said had slowed the agency’s enforcement efforts against corporate wrongdoing.

In her first public address as SEC chairman, Mary Schapiro said Friday that she was ending a two-year policy requiring agency enforcement attorneys to get approval from the commissioners before negotiating fines and penalties with companies accused of violations.

Schapiro said that practice “just sends the wrong message” and has caused delays. It is among the steps she said she is taking to revitalize the SEC’s enforcement efforts and bolster investor protection.

January 23, 2009

Goodbye and good riddance Cox

I’m with this story. Couldn’t happen too soon and if nothing else, the SEC will be headed up with a lot more competence. Hopefully a whole lot more.

From the link:

Christopher Cox has packed up as chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, leaving behind a demoralized agency that failed to spot Bernard Madoff’s alleged mega-fraud or forestall the collapses of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.

His resignation took effect yesterday, a spokesperson said.

During Cox’s 3 1/2 years, the SEC was criticized by lawmakers, investors and its own inspector general as lacking aggressiveness and being deferential to Wall Street banks.

U.S. President Barack Obama picked a fellow Democrat, Mary Schapiro, the head of the U.S. brokerage industry’s self-regulator, to succeed the Bush administration appointee.

“I respect Chris Cox, but there’s no question that the commission has been much too passive in area after area under his leadership,” said law professor Harvey Goldschmid, a former SEC commissioner.

“The morale problems and the lack of public regard for the agency must be immediately addressed by Mary Schapiro.”

December 18, 2008

Mary Schapiro to head Obama’s SEC

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:47 pm

She has quite the job ahead of her.

From the link:

President-elect Barack Obama nominated Mary Schapiro as the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, calling on her to help overhaul the troubled U.S. regulatory system.

Obama said Schapiro, a one-time acting SEC chairman and a political independent, who currently heads the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is “known as a regulator both smart and tough, so much so that she’s been criticized by the very industry outsiders who we need to get tough on.”

Also from the link:

Noting that it’s rare for a president-elect to designate a new SEC chairman before taking office, Obama stressed the need for changes in the financial system. He had harsh words for the current administration’s regulatory oversight during a morning press conference, during which he also announced his nomination of former Treasury undersecretary Gary Gensler to chair the Commodity Futures Commission, and of Georgetown law professor Daniel Tarullo for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board.