Los Angeles Times- Wall Street regulators are examining whether securities firms adequately police rumor-mongering used to manipulate stocks after shares of Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac tumbled last week.
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s inspections unit; the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which monitors brokerages; and the New York Stock Exchange’s regulatory arm are checking whether firms have controls in place to prevent the intentional spread of misinformation, the SEC said Sunday. The agencies also will look at whether employees have been adequately trained.
"The examinations we are undertaking with FINRA and NYSE Regulation are aimed at ensuring that investors continue to get reliable, accurate information about public companies," SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said.
Regulators already are hunting for traders who may have sought to profit illegally from the credit crisis by falsely stoking panics about the stability of such companies as Bear Stearns Cos., which collapsed in March amid speculation that clients were pulling out their business.