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    SEC Tried to Make Markets Fair. Here’s What Happened

    Two decades ago, a system for sending U.S. corporate filings over the Internet was hailed as a victory for transparency. Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Edgar website is engulfed by concern over opacity. Researchers checking whether documents are distributed to investors fairly by the SEC found evidence that some paying subscribers got the information first. The commission is reviewing how data is disseminated by the service, which was activated during the Clinton administration as a way to broaden access to potentially market-moving data, a spokesman said. This is what happens when a technology designed to solve problems in the 1990s becomes the focus of scrutiny so many years later, said Manoj Narang, the chief executive officer of proprietary trader Tradeworx Inc. Thanks to high-frequency trading, every detail of how data is broadcast to U.S. markets is being reviewed in probes by the New York attorney general, the FBI and the SEC itself. More on Bloomberg here.

    SourcedFrom Sourced from: Network For Investor Action & Protection

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    The S.E.C. and Political Spending

    It’s almost Election Day. Shareholders: Do you know how the cash from companies you invest in is being spent to influence the outcomes? Unless you invest in companies that voluntarily disclose their political spending, the answer is no. Worse, the Securities and Exchange Commission — the presumed guardian of investors’ right to know how corporate executives spend shareholder money — will not lift a finger to help you find out. More in the New York Times here.

    SourcedFrom Sourced from: Network For Investor Action & Protection

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    Fast Traders Are Getting Data From SEC Seconds Early

    WASHINGTON—Hedge funds and other rapid-fire investors can get access to market-moving documents ahead of other users of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s system for distributing company filings, giving them a potential edge on the rest of the market. Two separate groups of academic researchers have documented a lag time between the moment paying subscribers, including trading firms, newswires and others, receive the filings via a direct feed from an SEC contractor and when the documents are publicly available on the agency’s website. The studies found a wide variation in the lag time, from no delay to one lasting more than a minute—a considerable advantage for computer-driven traders. The ability to get the information before it is on the SEC site can give traders precious seconds to act on the news. More in the Wall Street Journal here.

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    Head of municipal securities office at U.S. SEC to leave agency

    The director of the office of municipal securities at the Securities and Exchange Commission, John Cross, will leave his post in November to return to the U.S. Treasury Office of Tax Policy, the agency said on Tuesday. Cross was named head of the newly formed office barely two years ago after becoming a leading figure in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market through his role as associate tax legislative counsel in the Treasury’s tax policy arm. More on Reuters here.

    SourcedFrom Sourced from: Network For Investor Action & Protection

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    SEC Is Steering More Trials to Judges It Appoints

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is increasingly steering cases to hearings in front of the agency’s appointed administrative judges, who found in its favor in every verdict for the 12 months through September, rather than taking them to federal court. The winning streak comes amid a marked shift at the agency toward trying cases that are more complex before its administrative law judges. Historically, the SEC had more often turned to these judges for relatively straightforward legal actions, such as barring stockbrokers who had been convicted of criminal fraud. Thanks in part to enhanced powers granted in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-reform bill, the SEC lately has been using the administrative judges for complicated cases, including several involving insider trading. More in the Wall Street Journal here.

    SourcedFrom Sourced from: Network For Investor Action & Protection

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