Below is an excerpt from a speech by SEC chair Mary Jo White that was posted on the web today. It is nice to see her comments on the utility of trading suspensions and asset freezes.
We also rely on our temporary suspension authority to stop trading in securities that are the objects of pumps-and-dumps. Just last month, we suspended trading in 255 companies, any one of which might have been the next vehicle for stock manipulators. There were more than 1,000 similar suspensions over the last two years. These trading suspensions perform a critical investor protection function—not only do they stop trading in the company’s stock for ten days, but they also have the effect of preventing market makers from displaying quotes in those securities until the company updates its public disclosures. We also have been using our trading suspension authority more frequently to cut off trading while the pump-and-dump is in progress.