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March 23, 2005

New York Pols Rallying Behind Trade Through

By Gregory Bresiger

The Big Board has many New York friends on Capitol Hill. Dozens of New York public officials were recently asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to preserve some form of the trade-through rule. They were also urging regulators to reject any form of the consolidated limit order book.

Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-New York) warns that a CLOB would effectively end competition. "In my view," Ackerman writes, "moving to a unitary electronic marketplace would effectively turn our internationally competitive, investor-driven markets into a quasi-government utility." Ackerman's fellow New York Democrat, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, also wrote that the CLOB plan under consideration by the SEC "would create a splintered, electronic only market where markets must chase displayed orders from market to market."

Meanwhile, New York State Governor George Pataki, New York Controller Alan Hevesi and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, are among the New York officials urging the regulators to retain some form of the rule. Clinton wanted to know what would happen if the SEC started allowing exceptions. She wrote, "Does the SEC have an adequate oversight and regulatory structure in place to ensure that transactions outside the trade-through requirement will be as open and transparent in the current best price marketplace?"