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´Market Abuse Directive should be MAD, bad and dangerous to know´ says Sharon Bowles, Chair of ECON

July 5, 2010 12:52 PM

Speaking at a Commission hearing on the Market Abuse Directive (MAD), Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament´s influential Economic and Monetary affairs committee, supported the revision of the directive by the commission.

She called for the revision of it to have a wider scope taking into account transparency, clarity and harmonisation.

She warned, however, that moves to crack down on market abuse should be aimed at traders´ intent to undermine markets rather than the financial instruments they abuse in the process.

Sharon Bowles said:

"Just as you can´t abolish drugs that can have beneficial purposes but you can deal with those who abuse and deal in drugs, so we need address the problem of insider trading and those who abuse the markets.

Naked Credit default swaps can actually be used for many legitimate purposes - indeed other legislation such as bank capital provides motivation for them. It is what traders do and their intent, not the tools they use which is abusive.

As well as updating the directive to take account of new trading platforms, I urge a wider scope for attempts at market manipulation, not just when there is success, and even a broadening of the concept to abusing gross asymmetry of knowledge."