Market 2000

1992| Working Paper No. 1237

In July, 1992 Release, the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] announced that the Division of Market Regulation was undertaking a “study of the structure of the U.S. equity markets and the regulatory environment in which those markets operate” (SEC (1992, p. 1524)). This followed SEC Chairman Breeden’s announcement of Market 2000 [The Study] to the Securities Industry Association in December 1991._x000B__x000B_The stated motivation for the Study is the extensive change that has occured since the early 1970s when the SEC last examined the securities markets in detail, which resulted in the 1973 Policy Statement on the Structure of a Central Market System and the subsequent establishment of the National Market System [NMS] for securities. That regulatory framework, with various modifications, has been the dominant mould within which the securities markets have operated for twenty years. The question is, is it appropriate for the next century?_x000B__x000B_The Study’s timing is not coincidental, given the strains on the existing system caused by the globalization of markets and trading, the emergence of vigorous markets in “derivative” securities such as options and futures, and the enormous technological changes reflected in both computer systems and competing market mechanisms. Winners and losers under potential new rules have every incentive to argue their particular cases forcefully.