There are many people in the U.S. who would like to move to an information-parity regime. The appeal is that it seems to make line-drawing easier: You don’t need to debate what sort of personal benefit an insider tipper got; you just need to know that she gave material nonpublic information to someone who traded. But the cost is that it makes other kinds of line-drawing harder. In an information-parity regime, if you find a new way to get information about companies — flying satellites over their parking lots to measure traffic, etc. — then you (arguably) can’t trade on it; any information that will move stock prices and that is not widely available might be illegal to use. That rather mutes the incentives to find things out. The U.S. rule is basically that any sort of stock research is legal, except bribing insiders for information; the information-parity rule would seem to make any stock research illegal, or at least risky, if it leads to information that only you have.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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