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By tktrimbath
April 30, 2009

Posts selected for this feature rarely stand alone. They are usually a part of an ongoing thread, and are out of context when presented here. The material should be read in that light. How are these posts selected? Click here to find out and nominate a post yourself!

The following letter was emailed to:
President Barack Obama
Senator Patty Murray
Senator Maria Cantwell
Representative Rick Larsen
the Securities and Exchange Commission
I don't know if it makes a difference, but we have to try.

Restore Faith in our Financial Institutions

Restoring confidence in America's markets would be greatly improved by publicly investigating the anomalous trading that occurs in the stock markets.

In particular, on Tuesday, April 28th, at approximately 12:30 on the East Coast, there was a highly irregular set of trades in stock of a Seattle company called Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN).

For many investors, appearances are important in restoring confidence. The sudden, immense trade that dropped the price of the stock about 50% looks very suspicious because it happened immediately prior to a news release and a trade halt. In three minutes the stock traded three million shares, apparently without an attempt at maintaining a rational market. It appears that the trade was pre-meditated and a purposeful manipulation of the stock price. The NASDAQ reviewed and then allowed the trades.

Many investors who have called me are livid and aghast that no federal regulatory or judicial authority has announced an investigation. As a result, they have asked me for explanations and assurances. They should get such communications from their government. Instead they are contacting me, an amateur and an author, merely because I wrote a book about how I balance my life and my money. I can not give them any assurance because I can't find it either. The consensus is that manipulations are so pervasive that individual investors no longer can trust the American stock markets.

Our stock markets and financial institutions depend on credibility and confidence. Cynicism is high enough that everyone expects that there will be some illegal activity, but that it is minimal and discrete. The sources of such cynicism should already be symptoms worthy of investigation. The actions we witnessed with DNDN heighten that cynicism and convince some people that illegal actions can be blatant because apparent perpetrators don't expect to be prosecuted. Unfortunately this is all based on the data we have available, but can't be credibly supported or challenged by individuals. The necessary visibility is only allowed for officials and professionals.

Governance and justice need to be demonstrated if our markets are to regain dominance, and thus support our economy's recovery. I ask you to investigate this matter, to do so publicly, and to do so quickly. Expedient and appropriate action from the federal government can be effective and cost efficient.

Prove to us that we can trust our government and our financial system.

Thomas Trimbath
(taxpayer, citizen, individual stockholder, Author of Dream. Invest. Live.)