A new rule by the SEC requiring disclosure on short-sell positions was welcome news for bank stocks beleaguered by short positions in last year's sell-offs. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority was to begin posting delayed short-sale info on bank stock securities in August. Although not a complete plug - hedge funds are excluded, and individual money manager positions remain hidden - the rule will give short-selling exchange-traded funds some needed scrutiny, said Atlanta-based FIG Partners, whose research in January found one ETF had a 35 percent impact on large-cap bank stocks through its own daily traded volume. "Thank goodness these ETFs, who helped pile on short-selling of bank stocks and recklessly pushed them to extreme lows by early March 2009, are finally getting their day in court," FIG Partners wrote in its Aug. 3 newsletter.

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