Clean Up the Securities & Exchange Commission

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

By: Tom Brennan | Web Editor | 02 Dec 2008 |

The SEC is charged with keeping the Wall Street game on the level, and with protecting the public from fraudulent & corrupt rip-off schemes. Wall Street is supposed to be regulated at least as much as Vegas is.

There are certainly more reforms needed, but Cramer has proposed a start with some urgently required changes to bring the SEC back into functional relevance consistent with its supervisory and protective mission:

"Investigate the bear raiders. Subpoena the tapes, the e-mails, the instant messages. Follow the evidence to the wrongdoers. Hold people accountable for the damage done to Lehman Brothers, et al.

Bring back the uptick rule. Remember this little regulation? It prevented traders from selling a stock short until it first ticked up in price. Cox repealed the rule, allowing company after company to be virtually obliterated. This is why the Dow can drop 9% in a single day, like it did Monday.

Get rid of overleveraged exchange-traded funds. Double- or triple-short ETFs allow investors to sidestep important margin rules. A dollar turns into two or three, increasing the size of a bear raid. In fact, these ETFs have had a direct effect on the market recently in ways you probably recognize: ETF orders are placed at 3 PM ET, and executed at 3:40. Does this kind of terrible last-minute action sound familiar to you? Again, just look at what happened Monday if you need proof.

Watch for market manipulation. Why does Exxon Mobil , the largest stock by market cap, trade like a penny stock in the final minutes of the session? Because of the aforementioned ETFs. Of course, Chris Cox believes that the market’s too big to be manipulated, and that’s one of the reasons why we keep getting hurt. Cramer vowed to stop this.

Demand transparency. Cramer’s amazed that Citigroup’s balance sheet – and that of AIG – showed none of the problems that eventually warranted a government rescue. How is that possible? Cramer wants transparent financials. Companies that don’t pony up will be held responsible."

“Christopher Cox, in my opinion, is an ideological fool,” Cramer said. “We need someone with the instincts to go after market manipulation and restore the safeguards that protect you and dampen the outrageous volatility.”

“I’m ready for the job,” he said. “Let’s make the change.”


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