William Cohan has a furious column about Mary Schapiro, joining Promontory Financial Group just four months after stepping down as chairwoman of the SEC.
She’s joining about 100 other former regulators at Promotory and the gist of Cohan’s complaint is that Schapiro and others are cashing in outrageously here. Having served up a soup of overly-complex regulation while in office, these former regulators are now selling their inside knowledge on how to navigate the regulatory thicket. Read more
After nearly four years in office, SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro today announced that she will step down on Dec. 14, 2012.
A big announcement today from the SEC. Read more
A whistleblower at the Securities and Exchange Commission has accused the agency of destroying more than 9,000 files related to preliminary investigations into SAC Capital, Bernard Madoff, Goldman Sachs and other financial groups, according to Charles Grassley, senior Republican on the Senate judiciary committee, the FT reports. Mr Grassley wrote to Mary Schapiro, SEC chairman, on Wednesday to ask for a response to allegations from Darcy Flynn, an SEC official who works in records management at the agency, that “critical information” might have been destroyed in a purge of documents. The SEC said it could not comment on the senator’s letter before it had drafted a response. But a spokesman said there was “no requirement that every document” that came into the agency be retained. However, anything “connected to an investigation” was kept for 25 years. The distinction is critical as the SEC is likely to say that it does not have to retain all records, which could include a wide range of information from newspaper clippings to trading accounts, when it is pursuing a so-called “matter under investigation”, a preliminary inquiry, as opposed to a formal investigation.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating computer system failures at electronic marketplaces including Nasdaq to determine whether internal controls are sufficient, reports the FT, citing people close to the matter. The probe is being handled by the enforcement division’s market abuse unit and is part of a broader regulatory review of stock exchanges following last year’s “flash crash”, recent hacking attempts and trading glitches. Mary Schapiro, SEC chairman, signalled in March that exchanges could face new rules governing their technology policies, which would formalise guidance issued following the 1987 stock market crash. Regulators are concerned that exchanges may have let risk and internal controls weaken in a race to develop innovative trading platforms.
The “Further further readings” post usually runs in the late afternoon US time, but in this case you can file it under “we forgot to hit publish”. Doh! Or consider it a Tokyo special. Either way, sorry about this.
For the commute home, where you always pass your Irish stress tests,
A wide-ranging overhaul of the rules governing equity markets, including tougher controls on high-frequency traders, is being weighed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the wake of the May 6 “flash crash”, SEC chair Mary Schapiro has said, according to the FT. HFT traders would be required to maintain liquidity in stocks, and quote-stuffing would be curbed. May’s fall exposed serious concerns in the transformation of equity markets’ structure, and was far from an aberration, Schapiro warned. That may be a sign at last that the SEC has grasped how badly investor trust has been damaged, notes the FT in a separate analysis.
America’s SEC has indicated it will bring more high-level enforcement actions against Wall Street in relation to the financial crisis, following last month’s $550m settlement with Goldman Sachs. US regulators told the FT that the SEC’s civil fraud case against the bank over the sale of mortgage-backed securities was an example of the type of action its revamped enforcement division was working on. In a separate analysis, the FT says that with a remit to add firepower with an extra 800 staff, SEC chairman Mary Schapiro means business.
It’s a bit of an odd one this. So here’s a straight story to start:
——- Read more
Exchanges will install circuit-breakers on individual stocks as early as Friday, reports the WSJ, after the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the measure on Thursday. The NYSE said it will begin a phased roll-out. The move, which will halt stock trading in response to sudden and large price shifts, was taken in response to the May 6 ‘Flash Crash’. SEC chair Mary Schapiro is exploring other methods of regulating high-speed moves on the market, the NYT adds.
Investigators have put the entirety of Wall Street on the naughty step over subprime securities in recent days — and tough financial reform is zipping through the Senate.
But fear not, banks — everything will be fine. Read more
The Great Flash Crash mystery endures. According to SEC chair Mary Schapiro it probably wasn’t a ‘fat finger’ and its certainly wasn’t a terrorist. FT Alphaville has her Senate subcommittee testimony from Tuesday. Read more
The Securities and Exchange Commission has come under renewed fire for its grasp of computer trading in stock markets after Thursday’s Dow plunge, with Democratic and Republican senators reiterating their concerns, Bloomberg reports.
The SEC’s chair Mary Schapiro will summon exchange chiefs to a meeting in Washington on Monday, the WSJ adds, in order to examine ways to avoid a repeat of Thursday’s fall.
Mary Schapiro must be getting a bit bored of having to mount lengthy defences of the regulatory bodies she has headed.
Under her tenure, for instance, FINRA failed entirely to investigate numerous tips that Allen Stanford and Bernard Madoff might not have been on their best behaviour. Read more
Securities and Exchange Commission head Mary Schapiro is on the case of Lehman-esque Repo 105-style shenanigans – where ever they may be.
As Reuters reported on Monday: Read more
City minister Paul Myners on Tuesday became the first mainstream UK politician to wade into the current debate on the dangers of high frequency trading (HFT).
Though his contribution will no doubt drown under certain other news, Myners’ views differ to the fairness-focused approach of SEC chief Mary Schapiro, concentrating instead on a potential subversion of the principles of common stock ownership. Read more
It might be bank failure Friday, but it’s also “closer look at how the SEC utterly embarrassed itself r.e. Bernard Madoff” day.
The SEC has released a detailed archive of exhibits compiled in support of the recently published report on the regulator’s failure to uncover Bernard Madoff’s epic Ponzi scheme. Read more
US securities laws are outdated and legislation is needed to govern new investment products that blew up during the financial crisis, SEC chairman Mary Schapiro said on Tuesday. Speaking as Congress is already drafting legislation to wind down big financial companies, Ms Schapiro said laws were also needed to fill the gaps in the regulation of thousands of billions of dollars in securities backed by assets such as mortgages and credit cards. The ABS market, for example, needs its own new specific act, she said.
By Goldman Sachs…
A 50-odd page presentation from the former investment bank has surfaced – prepared by three Goldman MDs for a meeting with SEC officials back in September. Read more
So, it wasn’t just an afterthought. The SEC has clearly woken up to the possible unfair advantages enjoyed by those practising the art of high frequency trading.
Alternative trading systems, co-location services, dark pools/orders, ECNs, sponsored access — they all warranted a specific mention during the latest leg of Mary Schapiro’s ongoing PR blitz. Read more
Blink and you’ll have missed it:
Finally, we are also reviewing the rise of high-frequency electronic trading strategies, broker arrangements that can give their customers direct access to the markets, and exchange co-location services that provide speed advantages to customers in obtaining market data and executing trades. Read more
America’s SEC should fund itself directly from industry fees, a system that would allow it to tackle more complex investigations and invest more in technology and skilled people, Mary Schapiro, its chairman, told the FT. The SEC rakes in more than $1bn annually in registration and transaction fees but, unlike other US financial regulators, must get budget approval from Congress each year, making it difficult to plan ahead and invest in multi-year IT projects, she said.
The pre-market action in Moody’s:
The increasingly popular trading venues known as “dark pools’’ are to come under fresh scrutiny from US regulators concerned about the emerging risks they pose to the wider markets, Mary Schapiro, SEC chief said on Thursday. The SEC will investigate the impact of automated dark pools – off-exchange trading venues that do not publicly display quotes – and consider possible regulatory action to improve investor protection and address market integrity concerns, she said.
Via Felix Salmon at Reuters, a lesson in dry satire. We hope.
Truth # 5: The SEC’s Job Is To Stay Out Of The Market When It’s Rising And Step In To Appropriately Alter The Rules When It’s Falling. Read more
Mary Schapiro is Barack Obama’s nominated candidate for the post of SEC Chair. Today she faced a grilling from the Senate, which by all appearances, should have been a tough one.
Why? Primarily because of the Obama camp’s pointed recent criticism of SEC incumbent Chris Cox. As Felix Salmon notes: Read more