Ken Griffin’s Citadel Securities is now suing the SEC over its new market transparency rules meant to keep institutions under tighter surveillance.
“Citadel Securities and the American Securities Association, a trade group, announced on Tuesday that they are suing Wall Street’s top regulator over new rules on the funding of a comprehensive market data surveillance system.
The litigation, brought before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, escalates the investment industry’s battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over the so-called Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT),” reports Reuters.
The ASA says that the SEC has “overstepped its statutory authority” and “failed to address investor and industry concerns” leaving them with no choice but to litigate.
“The Commission undertakes its regulatory responsibilities consistent with its authorities,” an SEC spokesperson said.
“The CAT is a repository of investor and transaction data meant to give regulators all-encompassing insight into U.S. market transactions.
The SEC mandated the CAT’s creation in 2012 as a response to the “flash crash” two years earlier, when a sudden plunge on major Wall Street indices temporarily erased nearly $1 trillion in market value.
Republican officials and industry representatives have said the system presents cybersecurity and privacy risks and is likely to pass undue costs on to investors.”
Citadel was recently fined $7 million in penalties for naked short selling.
The Securities and Exchange Commission says the market maker violated a provision of Regulation SHO, the regulatory framework designed to address abusive short selling practices, which requires broker-dealers to mark sale orders as long, short, or short exempt.
“Compliance with the order marking requirements of Reg SHO is a key component of regulatory efforts to curtail abusive market practices, including ‘naked’ short selling,” said Mark Cave, Associate Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
SEC Commissioner Now Says Securities Lending Facilitates Illegal Trading
SEC Commissioner Jaime Lizarraga said on Friday that securities lending facilitates illegal trading.
The official SEC statement comes after regulators have been expected to adopt new market transparency rules that will shed light on short sellers and other market participants.
“As with securities lending, short sales, provided they are conducted in compliance with applicable rules, can play a valuable price discovery role in our capital markets.
That said, they can sometimes contribute to, or even cause, precipitous price declines, facilitate market manipulation, and generate market uncertainty and volatility”, said Commissioner Lizarraga.
“To minimize the gap between these benefits and downsides, the Commission’s action today strikes the appropriate balance between increased transparency for investors and regulators of short sale-related data, and concerns about real-time disclosure of trading strategies.
Currently, Regulation SHO is the primary rule governing short sales of equities.
Although this rule imposes some recordkeeping obligations on broker-dealers, it does not require market participants to track whether short-sellers cover their short sales or report bona fide market-making information on a regular basis.
Today’s rule will shine a light on short sale activity by institutional investment managers.
It fills gaps in the data these managers currently report about their monthly and daily short sale activities.
This data is essential for the Commission to assess and monitor risks related to large short positions, for reconstructing market events, and for deterring fraud, manipulation, and other potential market abuses.“
Today, investing communities have raised concerns of market manipulation in stocks such as AMC Entertainment, Meta Materials, FingerMotion, Global Tech Industries, Mullen Automotive, and many more.
Stock manipulation from short sellers, primarily hedge funds, is a topic that main street has been urging our regulators to tackle head on.
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