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CAT Plan Fails to Protect Investors, Rid Market of Disruptive and Manipulative Practices

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430 or njacobs@bettermarkets.com




Washington, D.C. – Lev Bagramian, Senior Securities Policy Advisor at Better Markets, issued this statement on today’s approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) Plan:

“Despite some modest improvements, the final version of the CAT Plan approved by the SEC today will not protect investors or rid our capital markets of disruptive and manipulative practices.  That is because it was designed by the very industry it is meant to oversee.  The end product appears to reflect that dominant industry influence.  

"We’ll have to review all the details, but it seems that the SEC’s oversight role remains weak; the agency still faces limits on its ability to access and use the data; and from the moment they hit the “on” switch, the system will lag well behind industry technology and performance standards.  Also troubling are the provisions relating to upgrades to the system over time.  Enhancements are not scheduled or mandated, so we have no real assurance that the system will ever catch up and keep pace with our rapidly evolving equity markets.

"We acknowledge the hard work of the SEC staff on this initiative and those who fought to make the CAT Plan as strong as it could be.  But as currently constructed, it won’t fulfill its promise as a game-changing weapon in the SEC’s fight to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the marketplace.”



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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