Facebook Creates A Challenge For SEC


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According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, it has become increasingly more difficult to regulate and minimize insider trading. A predominant reason for this is social media like Facebook and Twitter. The ease at with insiders can share and disseminate information among groups is astounding. Mary Shapiro, Chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission comments on the added challenges social networking sites bring to regulation:

"The incredibly low cost and ease of reaching millions of people through social media creates opportunities for mischief, without question,"

Because much of what happens on social media sites is protected under privacy policies and guarded by watchdogs like the American Civil Liberties Union, vital information can be hard to come by.

Shapiro comments on gathering evidence of insider trading:

"Because we are very reliant when we do investigations on documentation, on E-mails, on telephone calls that might be taped by trading desks or by others, to the extent some of this is very ephemeral, it makes it harder to build cases,"

As we all know, insider trading is illegal for every citizen including lawmakers and government officials, but there is concern from citizens that insider trading is not being regulated properly when it come to the people who are running this country. In other words, the people who make the laws aren't following them.

Recently, congress voted to move foreword on a bill to put an end to insider trading by federal employees. Apparently, the bill would further clarify what insider trading is to government employees and also require them to report any trading activity to regulators within 30 days. What I don't understand about the whole scenario is this, why would congress have to clarify what insider trading is to the people who made the laws forbidding it in the first place?

More than likely, our elected officials have been using their trusted positions to make a buck, and now the American people are calling them out on it. So typical, our officials get pissed off when we ask them to stop breaking the laws that they themselves helped created.

Laena Fallon, spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor elaborates on aspirations for the bill:

"Building upon the Senate bill, this common-sense proposal will not only deal with insider trading of stocks, but also prevent all federal officials and employees from using insider information for profit in other areas in a constitutionally sound way,"

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn was one of the few to disagree with passing a new bill or adding amendments to the existing one, as he explains:

"We're playing a game with the American people,"

"This isn't going to change anything, except for requiring a bunch of paperwork to entrap people."

It all sounds like a bunch of nonsense to me, I think we should except the fact that lawmakers are a bunch of Hippocrates who use bureaucracy to mask abuses and perpetuate undeserved wealth. Social media is just a tool that has made it a lot more convenient for them. I don't think they'll be taking real measures to end it any time soon.