Wednesday, February 07, 2007

SEC Investigating Possible Insider Trading

SEC Asks 10 Firms to Turn Over Stock-Trading Records (Update3)

By Otis Bilodeau

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requested 10 securities firms turn over stock-trading records for the last two weeks of September, opening a review of how Wall Street handles confidential information.

The examination is aimed at determining whether details about trades big enough to push a stock price up or down were leaked to other firms, Lori Richards, director of the SEC's office of compliance inspections and examinations, said today in an interview.

The review may be the first to target a specific period of time for a group of the biggest firms, and is focusing on possible insider trading at brokerages that cater to the most profitable customers, including hedge funds, Richards said. She declined to name the firms. The New York Times reported earlier today that they include Merrill Lynch & Co., Morgan Stanley, UBS AG and Deutsche Bank AG.

Hat Tip to blogger BDG123, who has a post and discussion titled Stock Pools And SEC Investigations Into Leaked Trading Data.

If true, it is more evidence that the stock market is being manipulated for the benefit of a small group of insiders. BDG is saying that it is the 1920s all over again.

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