SEC Investigates Nasdaq and NYSE After Facebook IPO BreakdownBy: Shawn Hess - June 22, 2012
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) isn’t buying that Nasdaq’s much publicized computer glitch on the opening day of Facebook’s IPO was the root cause for all the confusion.
In fact, they have seen a couple other cases of so called, trading communication breakdowns coming from the NYSE, and now they want answers.
According to Nasdaq, they rewrote some computer code in an effort to jump start trading on the day of the IPO, and believe that is what could have led to the breakdown.
While the SEC is concerned that stock exchanges aren’t properly testing their equipment, they are also looking into whether the Nasdaq violated rules when it rewrote the code. More importantly, the agency’s enforcement unit has opened several cases to investigate the controls currently in place at all stock exchanges.
The SEC is also looking into whether some exchanges are giving preferable treatment to high-end customers and firms who repeatedly place large orders. Trust in the exchanges is an integral part of the system and regulators are working to make sure guiltiness are being enforced.
Aside from glitches with the exchanges, federal lawmakers are also pushing for reform in the way public offering are priced and the disclosure of that information. More specifically they have expressed concern over how much power banks have in the process. U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday informing them that new rules are needed.
Early last week, Facebook filed documents with the courts hoping to consolidate investor lawsuits stemming from the IPO. They also blamed Nasdaq for a majority of the problems claiming their malfunction scared off investors and eroded demand.
If you remember, Facebook stock sunk down to the $25 range for awhile, but it has slowly crept back up to $33. They still haven’t gotten anywhere near the $38 per share opening day price, but it looks like that are at atleast stable in the lower $30’s.
So hopefully we’ll see some resolve to these investigations and lawsuits sometime soon. It’s only been a month since the IPO, but it seems like the list of headaches coming out of the event for everybody just keeps growing. It can’t be good for anyone’s business. We’ll keep you updated on all things Facebook.