Commentary

Elaine Wah

Modern Markets, Modern Metrics - A Blog By IEX

In this blog by IEX's Elaine Wah, the newest public exchange looks to refute public claims that the metrics it uses are designed to inflate its own volume numbers and mislead people.

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In his first public speech, SEC Chair Jay Clayton deviated from his prepared remarks and offered his own "off the cuff" comments on market issues. Do you like this change of pace?




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February 1, 1999

Is SEC Nasdaq Probe Concluded?

By Jeffrey L. Winograd

The Securities and Exchange Commission last month closed the final chapter on the price-fixing allegations that rocked Nasdaq, reaching settlements with 28 broker dealers and 51 individual traders.

It is now assumed by market professionals that the only thing remaining is the lingering bitter after-taste of the scandal itself. Nonetheless, in a telephone interview, an official at the SEC, speaking on condition of anonymity, was equivocal about the closure of the case.

"This effectively concludes the investigation for the industry as a whole," the SEC official said. Pressed to elaborate, the official said that "nothing could be read into my answer."

Even the prepared statement by Richard Walker, director of the SEC's division of enforcement, did seem to leave room for some pro forma procedural steps given his emphasis on the same adverb, effectively.

"These settlements effectively bring to a close the long-standing investigation of the Nasdaq market first begun by the SEC in 1994," Walker stated.

The unnamed official said the settlements sent a strong message.

"People who act in a collaborative manner have to be very, very cautious. We want market makers to trade in a competitive manner. That's what the market is supposed to be about," the source said.

For his part, SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt said that Nasdaq is stronger and better as a result of the settlements.