Securities Roundup: Lawmaker Presses SEC to Tackle High-Frequency Trading, Approval of Nasdaq’s Plan to Payback FB IPO Investors is Delayed, & Less Investors Filed Securities Lawsuits Against Corporate Firms in 2012

Lawmaker Presses SEC to Tackle High-Frequency Trading
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) is pressing the Securities and Exchange Commission to help stop the allegedly harmful impact of high-frequency trading. Writing to SEC Chairman Elisse Walter and her predecessor Mary Schapiro, Markey talked about how the Market Reform Act of 1990 gives the regulator the power to “crack down on program trading.”

He noted that the law has a provision that lets the agency forbid or limit activities that can cause great volatility. Originally intended to place limits on program trading, Markey said the provision can be applied to ban or place restrictions on high-frequency trading.

Approval of Nasdaq’s Plan to Payback FB IPO Investors is Delayed
The SEC is now giving itself until March 29 to decide whether or not to approve Nasdaq’s proposal to set up a $62 million fund to pay back those that lost money due to technical problems during the initial public offering of Facebook Inc. (FB). The regulator says it needs more time to look at comment letters about the proposal and see to other matters.

Facebook’s May 2012 IPO was beleaguered by technical snafus that led to lawsuits by investors. Regulators and lawmakers have been seeking more information about what went wrong. In July, Nasdaq proposed accommodating members for losses they suffered from the IPO because of the system glitches. It says it would pay back $62 million in cash.

Number of Investors Suing Corporate Firms for Securities Fraud Down in 2012
According to a recent report, the number of federal securities lawsuits seeking for class-action status went down significantly in 2012. Unlike in 2011 when 188 such securities cases were filed, there were only 152 submitted last year, reports Stanford University Law School and Cornerstone Research. This was the second-lowest number of filings in over a decade and a half. The report credits the drop in cases to a decline in federal complaints submitted over acquisition and merger issues and less allegations against financial firms over Chinese reverse-mergers.
13 federal merger and acquisition lawsuits were submitted last year-down significantly from the year before when there were 43. Also, investors with cases did not name US companies found in the S & P 500 as often. Only one in 29 of these large institutions were accused of securities fraud last year. There also didn’t appear to be any trend among the new cases.

House Democrat Urges SEC to Take On High-Frequency Trading With 1990 Law, Bloomberg/BNA, January 23, 2013

Nasdaq’s Facebook IPO proposal ruling delayed by SEC, Silicon Valley Business Journal, October 30, 2012

Fewer U.S. investors sued corporate firms for fraud in 2012, USA Today, January 23, 2013

More Blog Posts:
Texas Courts Show Preference for Arbitration to Resolve Securities Fraud Claims and Other Business Disputes, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 15, 2013

Judge that Dismissed Regulators’ Claims Against Morgan Keegan to Rule on ARS Lawsuit Again After His Ruling Was Reversed on Appeal, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, November 27, 2012
Court Upholds Ex-NBA Star Horace Grant $1.46M FINRA Arbitration Award from Morgan Keegan & Co. Over Mortgage-Backed Bond Losses, Stockbroker fraud Blog, October 30, 2012
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