By Jim Brunsden
Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union is considering
listing “specific examples of strategies using algorithmic
trading and high-frequency trading” that should be banned and
punished by regulators as market manipulation.
The measures to increase investor protection and reduce
volatility are part of plans to clamp down on market abuse in
the European Union, according to a draft of the proposals
obtained by Bloomberg News.
“There are particular automated strategies that have been
identified by regulators which, if carried out, are likely to
constitute market abuse,” the document says. “Further
identifying abusive strategies will ensure a consistent approach
in monitoring and enforcement by competent authorities.”
High-frequency traders have come under increased
regulatory scrutiny following the so-called flash crash in May
last year, during which the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly
lost almost 1,000 points.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial services chief, has said
the tougher market-abuse rules are needed because current
sanctions are too weak.
Under the proposals, regulators would get the power to set
maximum fines for financial services companies of at least 10
percent of their annual sales. Individual traders would face
fines of at least 5 million euros ($6.8 million) for the worst
Traders found guilty of “intentionally” engaging in
insider dealing and market manipulation should face criminal
sanctions that are, “effective proportionate and dissuasive,”
according to the draft rules.
Under the plans, which would need approval from governments
and members of the European Parliament, unsuccessful attempts to
manipulate markets should also be punished.
The above is a Bloomberg article.
Europe is talking about hefty fines and criminal charges to traders abusing the system through the use of high frequency trading. The criminal aspect of this methodology is clear but have been ignored by the regulators in the US where it originated. The unwillingness of Congress/Senate to pass laws to rein in the destructiveness of high frequency trading is criminal, and understandable given the incestuous relationship between the law makers and the banksters.
Europe is slightly away and could be relied upon, relatively, to take actions against the rogue part of high frequency trading. Regulators who slept with the devil will dance with the devil and protect the devil. Hoping that the Americans will take action earlier is not going to happen and Europe may be the saviour to this menace.