Friday, May 14, 2010

Regulators to the Rescue of Day Traders

The 1,000 point slide in the Dow Jones last week, that no long term investor even noticed, has drawn the rapt attention of the regulators. The exchanges, under the now-watchful eye of the SEC, have adopted five minute "circuit breakers" -- a phrase that means a seller can't sell his stock without waiting for five minutes (even if there are bids well above the last quoted price!). This absurd system will simply speed the transfer of financial markets to a friendlier climate outside of the United States.

The only conceivable group that can benefit from this "five minute" delay are the most frantic of day traders who spend all day in front of a computer trading stocks. Are these the folks that the SEC is really out to protect? Whatever happened to the idea that financial regulation was supposed to protect long term investors? I guess the SEC doesn't buy into that anymore.

Who wants to own something that you can't sell?