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April 27, 2016

Better Markets Statement on SEC Release of Consolidated Audit Trail Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430 or njacobs@bettermarkets.com

Washington, D.C. – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued this statement on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) release for public comment of a plan to build a consolidated audit trail (CAT) for the equity and options markets:

“Today’s securities markets are moving at 21st Century speeds while the SEC is still too often in the 19th Century horse and buggy era.  It is inconceivable and indefensible that the SEC still does not have a real time consolidated audit trail, nearly six years after the Flash Crash in May 2010.

“The SEC does not have the data-gathering tools it needs to effectively protect investors and maintain fair and orderly securities markets.  Technological advances, algorithmic and high-speed trading techniques, and the proliferation of separate trading venues have far outstripped the SEC’s ability to monitor or police the markets.  While today’s announcement is encouraging, it is still just the start of a long process that might, years from now, result in a consolidated audit trail.   That is too slow and too late for America’s investors.

“As we review the CAT proposal, we’ll look for answers to some key questions:  Will it truly equip the SEC with the best possible tools—including real time functionality—for monitoring the markets, ensuring that they are fair and orderly, and protecting investors?  Did FINRA and the other industry-dominated self-regulatory organizations (SROs) prioritize investor interests when they developed their plan?  Should the CAT system be governed by the SROs or should it be a public entity solely under the SEC’s direct control?  We will focus on these and other key questions as we review the proposal.”

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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

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