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SEC Approval of Market Data Rules: Potential to Increase Access to Data

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Contact: Pamela Russell at 202-618-6433 or prussell@bettermarkets.com
SEC Approval of Market Data Rules Has Potential to Increase Access to Data
Positive Step But More is Needed to Rid Conflicts-of-Interest
Washington, D.C.  –  Lev Bagramian, Senior Securities Policy Advisor at Better Markets, issued the following statement in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval this morning of market data rules:
“Democratizing market data has the potential to promote fair and efficient markets and reduce information asymmetries between market participants who currently rely on such data. These changes, including the injection of competition into the provision of such data, would serve as a countervailing check on the rampant increase of the cost of proprietary data, which should reduce the cost of intermediation and serve the interest of investors, savers and retirees.
“The dominant exchanges fall far short of their obligations to protect investors, and worse, they have profited from the predatory actions of certain market participants who have preyed upon retail investors, savers and retirees. These practices have driven investors (along with some of the brokers and market makers that serve them) to off-exchange and onto opaque, less-regulated trading venues. Today, firms with the fastest and most technologically up-to-date capabilities and access to most content-rich data can—and often do—exploit features of our current market infrastructure and rules that permit them to reap undue advantages. Profits earned by firms that engage in predatory trading strategies fund the purchase of exchange market data and connectivity (even as prices continue to rise), which are needed to execute predatory trading strategies.
“These practices—and the market structure and rules that permit it—represent a hidden but enormous tax on savers and retirees. Only the Commission through its regulatory mandate can level the playing field and set fairness. However, the Commission must do more to rid conflicts-of-interest present in the current market structure. For-profit businesses should not be put in charge of and in control of the National Market System plans and its data. The SEC must reconstitute the governance structure to reduce the industry’s and SROs’ dominance and increase the SEC’s and the public’s representation in the governance of NMS plans.
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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