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SEC Chair Mary Jo White Pushes for Transparency in High-Frequency Trading

Securities and Exchange CommissionMary Jo White, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has proposed new measures to bolster transparency in dark pools and in high-speed or algorithmic trading markets, the Washington Post reported Friday.

Dina ElBoghdady writes that nearly 35 percent of trades in the U.S. occur in alternative trading venues, where many stock buyers and sellers mask their identities and limit public disclosure of their operations.

White said Thursday that the measures would require HFT firms to register with regulatory agencies as broker-dealers and comply with securities market regulations, according to the Post.

“Transparency is one of the primary tools used by investors to protect their own interests, yet investors know very little about trading venues that handle their own orders,” she told an industry forum audience in New York, according to the newspaper.

She also asked SEC personnel to develop a policy to stop certain kinds of aggressive trading when the stock market is excessively volatile, according to ElBoghdady’s article.

White expressed support for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority‘s initiative to collect and disclose stock-by-stock trading information from alternative trading markets.

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