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June 20, 2005

NMS "Misrepresentations"

By Gregory Bresiger

Although his official dissent hasn't been published yet, SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins recently railed against the approved Reg NMS market structure reforms.

Atkins complained that the SEC approved Reg NMS without regard for cost or how it will disrupt trading firms. He said NMS, "although clothed in noble-sounding objectives, is rooted in fundamental misconceptions about how the marketplace actually functions."

Atkins also charged that the SEC "punted" on new rules for electronic block trading systems, preferring to let the staff use no-action rules to govern these systems.

"That," Atkins adds, "is an amazing abdication of responsibility, particularly because it is anyone's guess how the staff will come out on the issues."