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SEC Announces Roundtable on Short Selling and Securities Lending

The SEC has announced that it will hold a roundtable on September 30, 2009 to solicit views of investors, issuers, financial services firms, self-regulatory organizations and the academic community on issues related to securities lending, pre-borrowing, and possible additional short sale disclosures. According to the SEC press release:

The roundtable panelists will consider, among other things, additional means to foster transparency, such as adding a short sale indicator to the tapes to which transactions are reported for exchange-listed securities, and requiring public disclosure of individual large short positions. Panelists will also consider whether it would be appropriate to impose a pre-borrow or enhanced "locate" requirement on short sellers, potentially on a pilot basis. Additionally, panelists will discuss issues related to securities lending such as compensation arrangements, disclosure practices, and methods of collateral and cash-reinvestment.

Typically, SEC roundtables are held at the agencies headquarters in Washington, DC, and are webcast via a link on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. We will post more details about the September 30th roundtable when they are made available.

In conjunction with its announcement of the September 30 roundtable, the agency also announced that the SEC has made permanent Regulation SHO Rule 204T, an interim final temporary rule designed to prevent fails and "naked" short selling. Rule 204T was adopted as an interim final temporary rule in October of 2008, with an expiration date of July 31, 2009. In addition, the Commission stated that it is working with "several self-regulatory organizations (SRO) to make short sale volume and transaction data available through the SRO Web sites. This effort will result in a substantial increase over the amount of information presently required by another temporary rule, known as Temporary 10a-3T. That rule, which will expire on August 1, applies only to certain institutional money managers and does not require public disclosure."

The Commission continues to consider the comments on its April 2009 rule proposals on approaches to restricting short sales, the "short sale price test" and the "circuit breaker" approaches.

The full text of the SEC's announcement of the roundtable and actions on short selling regulation is available at: http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2009/2009-172.htm

The full text of the April 2009 proposed amendments to Reg SHO is available at: http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/2009/34-59748.pdf

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