No Delaying the CAT

Regulators remain firm on timeline.

The Consolidated Audit Trail’s implementation is moving forward and will meet its November 15 launch date, according to Mike Beller, the CEO of Thesys Technologies and who spoke at the 2017 Financial Markets Quality Conference hosted by Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

The conference marked the first public occasion that Beller could defend the project from its industry critics, reported the Wall Street Journal.

“The CAT is the next generation,” he said according to the newspaper. “It’s a new system with what the regulators need to see what’s going on in the markets.” The database will make it easier for the SEC to spot manipulative trading and track down who is responsible for it, he said: “CAT will provide that transparency.”’

Many critics of the CAT have used Congressional concern over a May 2016 hack of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s corporate filing platform to renew their calls to push back the CAT’s launch of its first phase of data collection.

The House Financial Services Committee has gone as far as to consider H.R. 3973, or The Market Data Protection Act, which would have SEC, national securities associations, and the CAT operator develop “a comprehensive internal risk control mechanism to safeguard and govern the storage of all market data by such entity.”

The bill also would ban the CAT from accepting market data until it has developed such mechanisms and provide relief to those who are required to submit market data to the CAT while the CAT operator develops such mechanisms.

SEC Commission Michael Piwowar, who spoke at the conference, re-affirmed SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s statements that the SEC would not delay the CAT’s rollout due to cyber-security concerns.

Piwowar also noted that the SEC and the CAT would not be using the same cybersecurity regime and that the SEC will be sure that it can protect any data that it pulls from the CAT.

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