Wonkish: Finance Watch on the Mess of High Frequency Trading in Europe

4 Apr

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2004/39/EC (known as “MiFID”[1]) as subsequently amended [2] is a European Union law that provides harmonised regulation for investment services across the 30 member states of the European Economic Area (the 27 Member States of the European Union plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein). The main objectives of the Directive are to increase competition and consumer protection in investment services. As of the effective date, 1 November 2007, it replaced the Investment Services Directive.[3]

MiFID is the cornerstone of the European Commission’s Financial Services Action Plan whose 42 measures will significantly change how EU financial service markets operate. MiFID is the most significant piece of legislation introduced under the ‘Lamfalussy’ procedure designed to accelerate the adopting of legislation based on a four-level approach recommended by the Committee of Wise Men chaired by Baron Alexandre Lamfalussy. There are three other ‘Lamfalussy Directives’ — the Prospectus Directive, the Market Abuse Directive and the Transparency Directive.

Finance Watch believes that :

Finance has a strong public interest dimension
The purpose of finance is to serve the real economy
The transfer of credit risk to society at large is not acceptable
The only way for capital to fulfil a meaningful social role is to be allocated to productive use in a sustainable and transparent manner


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