Americans for Tax Reform signed a coalition letter led by Heritage Action for America encouraging the Securities and Exchange Commission to refrain from implementing the Consolidated Audit Trail.
The CAT National Market System is a database established after the 2010 “Flash Crash”, when the SEC began requiring broker-dealers, trading venues and stock exchanges to report all securities transactions and customer information to a single database this year. The CAT is a Delaware company jointly owned by broker-dealers on a co-equal basis, with the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and 23 additional self-regulatory agencies having authority to access the database. The Heritage Foundation’s David Burton notes that as many as 3,000 regulatory users may be able to access the database.
ATR joined the coalition letter as we share the concerns of members of Congress, current SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, and organizations representing private businesses and everyday investors who fear the collection of personal identifiable information leaves the CAT a ripe target for cyber theft, and does little to stamp out fraud within the financial markets.
Additionally, if the CAT is breached by nefarious actors there is little recourse for consumers in terms of who or what entity bears the financial burden of making consumers and companies whole. Without additional consideration of electronic breaches, it could be the consumer or taxpayers who are left picking up the tab.