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Hedge funds plead with US SEC to let short ban expire

Forbes – Lobbyists for the $2 trillion hedge fund industry made a last ditch effort Wednesday to convince U.S. securities regulators to let an emergency order prohibiting short selling in more than 950 financial firms expire Thursday.

"The orders have not prevented price declines of financial institutions, volatility in the securities of these firms, or the failure of a financial institution," said Richard Baker, president of hedge fund lobby group Managed Funds Association.

Baker said the emergency orders have increased volatility, reduced liquidity and abruptly halted capital-raising, including through the issuance of convertible securities.

But a number of securities law experts expect the Securities and Exchange Commission to extend the ban beyond Thursday because of the current fragile state of the markets.

Under the SEC emergency measures, short selling in the U.S.-listed financial firms stocks has been prohibited for about two weeks.

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