MAS is starting to show interests

The MF Global sham must have triggered MAS into action. Or is it Paul Volcker’s recommendation for more regulation than deregulation? Well, MAS is introducing more regulations to prevent more lemons appearing in our financial market, to protect the average investors. Sophisticated instruments, derivatives etc will now be subject to more regulations to prevent innocent, ignorant and unsophisticated investors from being sucked into the quagmire and lose their life savings.

It is a good start, albeit a little too late and a bit too little. The measures taken are still too inadequate to prevent the loss of billions to the big funds which is happening daily. It is not just the derivatives and sophisticated products that are at fault. There are system faults that cannot go on like this.

The derivatives are now seen as dangerous, if not toxic. If they are dangerous, shouldn’t they be taken out of the system completely? Or it is okay to sell poison as long as the buyer knows that it is poison? This is a philosophical question. It can be a matter of right and wrong, a moral issue.

Derivatives are not only dangerous by themselves. The fact that they are derived from the major stocks in the market will also put these stocks at risk to grave manipulations. The intrinsic values of these component stocks will be of no bearing to the speculators whose only interest is profit by pushing the stocks up and down, at high speed.

The more dangerous development is to allow funds to hook up their computers to the stock market system. This is unfair in many counts. They could trade at high speed with the advantage of high speed computers and with the information provided by the system that the average investors are not accessible to. And they could use big muscles, with practically unlimited trading limits to corner stocks, to move stocks at will.

Cornering of stocks, buying and selling without change of ownership are all against the rules and regulations of the stock market. Are the funds doing it, or allow to do it?

For several years, the investors have been brought to the cleaners by the big funds. A report on who are the main winners and who are the losers would tell the story much clearer on how the system is disadvantaging the average investors.

MAS could have done more to ensure that the stock market is a level playing field to all investors, big or small. Funds can play with their sophisticated computers, algos, big war chests, but must not be allowed to hook their computers to the exchange. This is the least that MAS has to do.


Anonymous said...

Just like the casino exclusion list.

There should also be a "derivatives exclusion list" for investors.

Financial Institutions (FI) must check to see if an investor has included himself on this "derivatives exclusion list". It will be considered "mis-selling" if an FI sells derivatives products to such investors.

Anonymous said...

I can't even buy anti virus cream or some control but not poisonous drugs over the counter or from the pharmacists without a doctor's prescription.

Would the new measures prevent another lemon or would it ended up with the stockbroking agents becoming the victims when a lemon appears?

Anonymous said...

So long as MAS does not seek feedbacks from broker, trader and remisier and considers them seriously, MAS Interest could be just wayang(for show).

In the first place, MAS has to exercise all due diligence for whatever it is regulating.

For this matter, MAS should have approach Redbean who had written much about stock exchange.