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    $30 million award to tipster underscores banner year for SEC whistleblower program

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission experienced a banner year with its whistleblower program in fiscal 2014, awarding more tipsters than all previous years combined and issuing a record-setting $30 million to one individual who reported fraud. The SEC said in a report to Congress this week that it authorized a total of nine monetary awards this year to people who provided original information about violations of federal securities laws. The agency had previously handed out a combined four awards since the program began in 2011. More in the Washington Post here.

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    Two Republican SEC members blast SAC insider trading victims’ fund

    Two Republican members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lambasted plans to compensate victims of an insider trading scandal at a unit of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisers, calling it nothing more than a windfall for class-action lawyers. In an unusual move, SEC Commissioners Daniel Gallagher and Michael Piwowar announced their dissent for the $602 million fund in an op-ed item in the Wall Street Journal posted late Monday evening that appeared in Tuesday’s print edition. (on.wsj.com/1wga7Oa) Typically, such opinions are posted directly on the SEC’s website, or in some cases, not widely publicized. More on Reuters here.

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    SEC Chair Mary Jo White close to revealing her position on fiduciary duty

    Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White is poised to reveal what she believes is the best way for the agency to address the issue of raising investment-advice standards for brokers. “The commission has not made a decision whether to do something or what to do,” Ms. White said Monday at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association annual meeting in New York. “But in the short-term, there will be more clarity on that in terms of my own position.” Ms. White has not said whether she supports writing a rule or enhancing disclosures related to investment-advice standard of care. She has played her cards close to her vest in part because the controversial issue has divided the five-member commission. More on Investment News here.

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    Major exchanges seek to dismiss high-frequency trading lawsuit

    Major U.S. stock exchanges have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit accusing them of costing ordinary investors billions of dollars by rigging markets to benefit high-frequency traders. Exchanges including Nasdaq, Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s New York Stock Exchange, Bats Global Markets and CHX Holdings Inc’s Chicago Stock Exchange said they deserve “absolute immunity” because they regulate themselves, and that only the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could review the plaintiffs’ claims. More on Reuters here.

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    Gap Narrows in Access to SEC Filings

    WASHINGTON—A time lag that could give some investors early access to market-moving documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission has all but disappeared, according to an academic tracking the data. Delays between the time a private data feed publishes regulatory filings to the SEC and when the filings appear on the agency’s website have diminished since Wednesday afternoon, said Prof. Robert Jackson of Columbia Law School. The shift came after The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that some sophisticated investors were gaining access to documents ahead of others. The early look gave them a potential advantage over investors relying on the public website, according to findings by Mr. Jackson as well as a separate group of academics studying the same topic. More in the Wall Street Journal here.

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