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FSA To Require Firms To Record Employees' Phone Calls Despite It Being A Waste Of Money That Enterprising Insider Traders Will Undoubtedly Work Around


The Financial Services Authority announced today that "relevant communications made with, sent from or received on mobile phones and other handheld devices must be recorded and stored for six months." The new rule is expected to cost banks at least 10,000 pounds ($16,000) per phone, per year, which they are none too pleased about, especially given the pointlessness of the exercise. Is the UK regulator aware of the fact that if someone wants to insider trade, they're gonna find a way, regardless of their work phone being tapped (like, for instance, using a personal phone or meeting in person to trade hot tips) and that the only thing they're going to determine from these calls is which banks employ the highest number of bondage and clown fetishists? Yes, and they don't care.

One investment bank told the FSA that it would cost 500,000 pounds monitor the calls of 50 users. Another global investment bank said the cost of recording BlackBerrys issued to front- office staff would be more than 2.6 million pounds a year, the FSA said.

“Many respondents’ argued that the benefits will not materialize as a result of individuals circumventing the rules,” the FSA said today. “It is true that determined and inventive individuals will always find ways to evade the rule. It is our contention that by having as comprehensive a taping regime as possible we limit the scope or temptation for employees to infringe the market abuse rules on fixed or mobile lines which are not taped.”

U.K. Regulator Adopts Mobile-Phone Taping Rules Over Protests From Banks [Bloomberg]


What Does A Phone Dedicated Exclusively To Receiving Calls From Steve Cohen Look Like?

Past the two Bentleys in the driveway and beyond the pool and mini water park, the home theater and a sports bar hung with enough memorabilia to equip a basketball team, Tom DeMark has his office -- a dark, wood- paneled lair with six computer screens. The office abuts the master bedroom of his Scottsdale, Arizona, home, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its December issue. It has to, DeMark says, because he often gets up after midnight to scrutinize charts of stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies to see if his numerical system for predicting their behavior is working. Since he started in the investment business in 1971, DeMark has advised some of the biggest names on Wall Street, men such as Paul Tudor Jones and Leon Cooperman. He’s a consultant to Steven Cohen, founder of SAC Capital Advisors LP, which manages $14 billion, and John Burbank, founder of $3.4 billion Passport Capital LLC. SAC and Passport each own a piece of DeMark’s company, Market Studies LLC. DeMark has a phone on his desk that’s dedicated to Cohen. Seems like the obvious possibilities are: a) b) c) d) e) other Follow-up question: how many other people have Steve-only phones? Surely DeMark is not alone. DeMark Fibonacci Charts Embraced by Cohen Lure Investors [Bloomberg Markets Magazine]