You may now feel free to flap your arms and fly about the country:
The Securities and Exchange Commission took the dramatic step early Friday of temporarily banning the routine practice of betting against company stocks. The move, announced on the agency’s Web site, may well be unprecedented and a reflection of regulators’ concern about the widening scope of the financial crisis as entreaties come from all quarters to stem a swarm of short-selling.
This is a dead horse that deserves beating and beating well. The markets are not free in the USA. They never have been. More regulation of what are already very over-regulated markets is not going to ward off the inevitable economic bust that always follows economic booms. Since a) the Austrians were correct, and b) the USA has recently enjoyed the longest and most artificially prolonged financial boom in history, it shouldn’t be too terribly hard to realize what we have seen thus far is merely the camel’s nose in the tent.
I’m just curious if this ban is temporary in the “road work ahead – lane closed” sense or in the “extraordinary expenditures – income tax” sense.