December 28, 2006
Transparency in the markets brought about by recent advances in information exchange has been a cornerstone to market efficiency that has benefited the average citizen who represents most of the small investor community. Without the exchange of information in a timely manner most small investors will become less competitive as higher transaction fees must be paid to obtain currently free market information. The other scenario is the small investor will only obtain inferior free information as market data is withheld and current information is available by subscription only. The effect will be the same the small investors may be unable to participate in the capital markets and relegated to investments that do not perform as well. This in essence turns back the clock to a pre-1975 investing environment where large full service brokerage firms controlled investors access to information. Therefore, the SEC should work to make all markets (including the bond market) evolve so there is even more market transparency as it is just good public policy to allow all citizens to obtain information about the securities market for publicly traded corporations. Without a concerted effort to keep and continue to make all markets transparent, the stage will be set for additional risk of loss and profits forgone due to information gaps between investors who have and those who do not have access to open market information.