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See What People Are Saying About... Short Selling Ban

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Under fire for regulatory missteps, top U.S. securities regulator Christopher Cox defended his agency's record but acknowledged some regrets over a drastic action the agency took as markets were hurtling downward in September.

Specifically, Cox expressed remorse over the short selling ban. As you probably remember, for the few weeks during the worst of the crisis, the SEC stopped investors from making bearish bets on about 700 financial stocks including Morgan Stanley and Citigroup .

Although the SEC is still evaluating data from the temporary ban on short-selling, preliminary findings point to several unintended market consequences and side effects caused by the ban, he said.

"While the actual effects of this temporary action will not be fully understood for many more months, if not years, knowing what we know now, I believe on balance the commission would not do it again," Cox told Reuters in a telephone interview from the SEC's Los Angeles office late on Tuesday. "The costs appear to outweigh the benefits."

And that leads to our Fast Money Reader Poll. In retrospect do you think the short-selling ban was a mistake?




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