NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock markets the world over have a common problem.Small investors don't trust them. We think they're rigged. The country that unrigs them stands to profit. Five years ago, 65% of us said we were invested in stocks. That is down to 50%,
David Kornblau, who was the SEC's chief litigation counsel during the first Geoge W. Bush administration,
recently wrote for Bloomberg , the SEC should be continuously monitoring what happens on our markets, as regulators do with nuclear power plants. Empowering regulators to close down the action before a catastrophe would yield greater public confidence than a hindsight-oriented approach, he writes. This idea of regulating for profit sounds strange, but it has worked well in the gaming industry, Reuters writes , and if Macau is seen as a threat to that the answer does not lie in surrendering to organized crime. Chinese investors are also becoming leery of their stock markets, says Forbes due to a lack of transparency. There is opportunity here. Incoming SEC chair Elisse Walter made her reputation re-regulating the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market, according to MarketWatch , which could grow substantially as taxes on capital gains increase. That success should be a clue to what must happen in other U.S. markets -- an honest casino can make more money than a dishonest one, by bringing in more players. Stricter regulations by government, by the stock exchanges, and by accountants will, I think, lead to more foreign companies listing on our markets, and more individuals buying and trading stocks. I think it would also lead more U.S. companies to go public sooner. There is money to be made in stricter regulations, and strict enforcement of those regulations. Do you really want to play in a crooked casino? Do you think corporations want to? I don't. At the time of publication, the author had no investments in the securities described here. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.