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SEC develops algorithm that has revealed errant bond trades

Published Sun, Dec 27, 2015 · 09:50 PM
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New York

JESSE Litvak's colleague kicked off a widespread investigation into the opaque world of bond trading by accidentally sending a client a spreadsheet detailing how he was allegedly ripping them off. Wall Street's main regulator is trying to make sure that future probes are not relying on similar stumbles.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been building its own algorithms over about the past two years to better police trading of securities tied to mortgages and car loans. In doing so, it said that it has now uncovered billions of dollars in trades that may raise red flags - from excessive mark-ups on bond sales to possible kickbacks for brokers who act as middlemen.

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