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June 16, 2014

SEC faces challenges before fast-trading reforms can go on the books

“The Securities and Exchange Commission has rolled out its intentions to regulate high-frequency trading, making stricter regulation in some form a strong possibility, but the agency faces more work and some challenging obstacles before it can put new rules in the books.

“SEC Chair Mary Jo White in a speech last week outlined her goals for regulating high-frequency trading (HFT), at a time when political interest over the fairness and risks of the practice has surged in the wake of a best-selling book by financial writer Michael Lewis.

“White‘s intentions for regulating high-frequency trading, which has taken a dominant role in U.S. equity markets, include registration requirements for proprietary fast-traders. Under such rules, firms registering as broker dealers would have to meet net capital requirements and establish adequate risk management controls.”

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Reform advocates say HFT regulation is sorely needed.

Registration of HFT firms is “a critical first step” that has been long overdue, and rulemaking should start as soon as possible, said Dennis Kelleher, president and chief executive officer of Better Markets Inc., a public advocacy group in Washington”

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Read full Reuters article here

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