Once upon a time in the world of finance there were three kingdoms the most widely recognized was also the most snobbish and wealthiest its subjects were affluent and known worldwide. Its king was NYSE (New York Stock exchange) the king ruled proudly over his subjects.
Every brokerage firm had a stock ticker to provide their customer with trade information on NYSE listed stocks.
The second kingdom was not so well off, it had less subjects and the inhabitants were much poorer than those ruled by NYSE, the king was named AMEX (American Stock Exchange). They could be classified as low middle class.
Now the third kingdom was the largest of all, it’s subjects range from middle class to very poor, this kingdom was ruled by OTC (Over The Counter Market). Some of the subjects of OTC were always looking to migrate to NYSE or Amex to escape the stigma attached to being a resident of OTC.
Some of the stock that at one time traded in the Pink Sheets are well known today such as EDS and many new IPO, as well as bank and insurance companies, but you also had stocks trading for a fraction of a penny.
If you wanted a price on a OTC stock you would call your broker who looked in the pink sheets to see who the market makers were, he would get on the phone to a market maker and ask the person answering the phone for a quote, the person answering the phone then gets the price from a blackboard in the front of the room and give it to the broker making the inquiry, this would take some time.
Market makers had a quote boy in the front of the trading room changing the blackboard every time a trader yelled a different price, this markets were good for 100 shares,
In those days it was possible to buy from one market maker at a price and turn around and sell to another market maker at higher price because the one market maker had no idea what the market was unless he made a phone call. So you always found disparities in the price of a stock.
Along came a knight in shining armor named NASDAQ the NASD Automatic Quotation System, which allow brokers to see the price by computer, it gave the mean market (average market) not the best price, but it was a giant step forward.
These NASDAQ machine did not provide live quotes you had to keep on pressing the enter key in order to see the updated quote.
And eventually all the better stocks were gradually included on the NASDAQ systems leaving the more obscure and unprofitable companies to trade on the pink sheet. And again the NASD decided to sink the pink sheets even further into the land of obscurity by creating the OTC Bulletin Board.
The OTC Bulletin Board started out not requiring much information from the issuer but gradually started requesting more information and now they must have audited financial and must be reporting.
All this left the pink as the only market in total disclosure darkness being the only ones not requiring the issuer to disclose its financial reports.
But on February 15, 2005 a little daylight came into the pinks, on this day a new policy was implemented, this policy requires issuers of newly traded securities to disclose adequate current information to the investing public.
This is only required of those companies which have securities quoted on an unsolicited basis on the pink sheets, and have never been listed on an exchange or quoted on the OTCBB.
If an issuer is quoted on an unsolicited basis, this means that the NASD has not cleared a market maker to enter a quote in the security pursuant to SEC Rule 15c2-11. Instead, a broker is relying on an exemption to the rule in order to display a quotation representing an unsolicited customer order. This exception has been used to trade securities of new issuers without any disclosure to the investing public. To address this situation, in October 2004, Pink Sheets revised their policy for brokers entering unsolicited quotes in a new security that has never been listed on an exchange or quoted on the OTCBB. They now require that prior to publication of an unsolicited quote in the Pink Sheets for such securities the broker must ascertain that the issuer has made adequate current information publicly available on the pink sheets website. The disclosure policy has been a good attempt at creating transparency of the basic information that investors trading in public markets deserve.
Pink Sheets is now extending this requirement to companies that were previously quoted on an unsolicited basis. If the companies did not make the required disclosure by February 15, 2005, they removed their displayed quotation from the website.
This new policy is a big step forward for the Pink Sheets and they should be applauded for it, but I Personally would like to see all companies being required to make complete disclosure.
If a company is unable for whatever reason to disclose their finances and corporate updates to the investing public then they should not be allow to trade on any public market.
These companies operating in total darkness are the vehicles being used by stock manipulators to scam the investing public, even though the Pink Sheets have taken this giant step they must remove all non-disclosing companies from the public market place.
I am not sure the pink Sheets have the authority to do so but SEC does, and the SEC is the agency responsible for protecting the investing public.
Lets congratulate the Pink sheet for this change in policy and hope that they will continue to upgrade their standards, as a direct result of this policy we at Genesis Corporate Advisors are changing our policy of not bringing any company public to the Pink sheets.
Effective immediately we will begin considering candidate for the Pink sheets but our preference will continue to be The OTC Bulletin Board because we want as much transparency as possible.
In order to have viable healthy market you must have willing investors with access to current and accurate information.
For additional information visit: http://www.genesiscorporateadvisors.com