Traders Go On Honor System To Not Insider Trade, Manipulate Markets - Dealbreaker

Truly, we live in amazing times. While the coronavirus has shuttered trading floors around the world, trading goes on apace—and thensome. Working (and socializing) from home has become so easy people can’t get enough of stocks called “Zoom,” even if they’re the wrong Zoom. And services that enable banks and others to the phone calls traders make to, you know, trade are booming.

Unfortunately, like our healthcare infrastructure in the face of a pandemic, our technological infrastructure isn’t exactly up to the task of everyone working from home. This means a lot of dropped or malfunctioning calls. This may not seem like a big deal, but in light of, you know, certain things, regulators are pretty prickly about not being able to listen in those calls. Luckily, the FCA and ESMA have a solution that doesn’t rely on such finicky technology.

The FCA recently said firms should continue to record calls, but that in scenarios where it isn’t impossible they should take other steps to “mitigate outstanding risks.” ESMA said traders can take notes of phone calls as a temporary alternative.

Foolproof! What could possibly go wrong?

“If you’re at your desk and you know you’re being taped, that’s going to act as a disincentive” for insider dealing, market manipulation and collusion, he added…. A handwritten note is “by definition not as good as a recording,” Mr. Sims said. “You may write things down that don’t really reflect what was said.”

Looks like you don’t even need to be a U.S. Senator to profit from this deadly opportunity.

Surveillance of Homebound Wall Street Traders Relies on Pen and Paper [WSJ]
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Hospital Capacity Crosses Tipping Point in U.S. Coronavirus Hot Spots [WSJ]

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