Three Bills Before Congress Presage a Return of the Uptick Rule, Potentially Undermining Hedge Fund Strategies that Involve Short Sales of Equities

On March 16, 2009, Senator Edward Kaufman (D-Delaware) introduced a bill in the Senate that, if enacted, would direct the SEC to take several actions aimed at (1) restoring the uptick rule that was in effect until July 5, 2007, and (2) addressing delivery and settlement issues that can arise in connection with short sales.  Two bills with similar goals have also been introduced into the House of Representatives in the 111th Congress; each has been referred to the Financial Services Committee.  We explain the mechanics of the three bills, the history of the uptick rule (including its implementation in 1938 and its withdrawal in 2007) and hedge fund industry responses to the latest legislative efforts regarding short selling.

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