In a speech on June 5, 2014, SEC Chair Mary Jo White said that she has asked the SEC’s staff to develop a recommendation for an anti- disruptive trading rule. The rule would apply to active proprietary traders in short time periods when liquidity is most vulnerable and the risk of price disruption caused by aggressive short-term trading strategies is highest.
The Chair asked the staff to recommend rules designed to clarify the status of unregistered proprietary traders to subject them to the rules for dealers, and to eliminate an exception from FINRA membership requirements for dealers that trade in off-exchange venues.
The Chair said that the SEC will focus on the efforts of the exchanges and FINRA to minimize consolidated data latency through new rules to keep up with fast-paced changes in a technology- driven market. For example, the SEC would ask the exchanges and FINRA to consider requiring a “time stamp” in the consolidated data feeds. The time stamp would indicate, for example, when a trading venue processed the display of an order or execution of a trade.
Chair White also took aim at dark venues and alternative trading systems (ATS). Transparency, she said, is the hallmark of the U.S. securities markets, and that “I am concerned by the lack of it in these dark venues.”
She asked the SEC’s staff to recommend how to expand information about ATS operations it receives and to consider “whether the current regulatory model for exchanges and other trading venues makes sense for today’s markets.”