SEC eyes flash crash reforms

By @ibtimes on

Securities regulators are eyeing a spring target to unveil market structure reform proposals in the wake of the May 6 flash crash, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro said on Friday.

Schapiro said the agency is looking at a variety of areas, from new market-making obligations for high-frequency traders to a new limit up/limit down trading parameters.

She also said the SEC is broadly looking into the rules surrounding securities offerings to see if the agency's regulations may be out of date.

The SEC's interest in the issue comes amid reports last month of Goldman Sachs's creation of a special investment vehicle to offer its clients a chance to invest in Facebook.

The SEC has also recently sent information requests to SecondMarket, an online platform to match buyers and sellers in privately held companies such as Facebook and Twitter.

Federal securities laws force companies to publicly disclose more financial information if they have 500 investors. But Goldman's special vehicle would only count as one investor, allowing it to skirt the 500-investor rule.

Schapiro declined to comment specifically when asked about the 500-investor rule but said, broadly we are looking at whether our rules are keeping up with the changes in how markets are functioning.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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