December 22, 2006
I've just learned that effective Feb. 1, 2007, the NASDAQ expects to charge for what is in fact public information. Not only is this appalling in and of itself, but it is completely counter to the whole concept of the 'open-book' that has been pushed as part of all the recent Sarbanes-Oxley accounting disclosures. Not allowing the public and retail investor access to market data is akin to telling someone they can't see the house they are buying until they have signed a mortgage.
The SEC must intervene in this action or I fear that not only will there be a large withdrawal of funds from the market by retail investors, but we as a country will see a repeat of the "dot-com" phenomena, with companies and markets secreting information that they don't want seen by hiding it under the veil of a "eyes-only-for-a-fee" category. What's next? Are we to start paying for a "public" company's financial filings? Or for even having "public" access to these "public" markets? What happened to "public" in these terms.