FINRA is making a New Year’s resolution to catch more insider traders in 2011 by revamping their market surveillance methods and data operating systems.
Currently, FINRA oversees multiple exchanges where 80 percent of all U.S. trading occurs. Each exchange, such as the NYSE, NASDAQ and so on, has its own operating database that stores trade-related information. FINRA is working to combine these databases in 2011 into one operating system in the hopes that they will be able to spot illegal activities across multiple exchanges with greater ease.
With these databases combining forces, FINRA will be able to see the different relationships between trades that occur across the multiple exchanges. With a complete picture in front of them, it is possible that we will see the number of insider trading cases skyrocket in 2011.
While this sounds like a great idea, one has to question where the time and money will come from in order to complete this project. Currently, the SEC is being asked to complete multiple studies and regulations with the Dodd Frank Bill without any extra funding, and many federal offices are in the middle of a pay freeze. So where will FINRA receive monetary funding from in order to complete this new project in 2011? Or is it because of the new ambitions within FINRA that the SEC has received such severe budget cuts? One begins to wonder why one office receives greater priority over the other when they are both acting regulatory bodies that exist for a similar purpose. What do you think?