On October 18, 2021, the SEC released a report on the meme stock craze that caused the securities of companies like GameStop Corp. to soar to unprecedented high trading prices and volume. Commissioners Hester Peirce and Elad Roisman criticized the report as being used as an excuse to add or consider adding additional regulations in the areas of conflicts of interest, payment for order flow, off-exchange trading, and wholesale market making when, however, no causal connection between the meme stock trading and these other factors has been established. I found the report interesting for the background and discussion on the U.S. trading markets.
From the perspective of individual investors, the lifecycle of a stock trade starts with an investor placing an order through an account they establish with a broker-dealer. The broker-dealer then routes the order for execution to a trading center, such as a national securities exchange, an alternative trading system (“ATS”), or an off-exchange market
On September 14, 2021, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler gave testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs highlighting the priorities of the SEC under his rule. After giving the obligatory opening statements on the size and impact of the U.S. capital markets, Gensler broke down the SEC agenda into four topics including market structure, predictive data analytics, issuers and issuer disclosure and funds and investment management.
Chair Gensler began his speech market structure by talking about the U.S. Treasury Market, which I found interesting mainly because I do not recall any speech or testimony by recent SEC chairpersons that focused on the topic (albeit I haven’t read them all, but I’ve read a lot!). During Covid, the Treasury Market suffered from liquidity issues prompting the SEC to consider rule and process changes, including those related to clearing, that could make the Treasury Markets more resilient and competitive. The SEC is also considering Treasury trading