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A plea for smart data from the SEC's investor advocate

Joe Mont | November 11, 2016

For more than 80 years, securities laws have required sellers of securities to disclose all material facts to prospective investors. “This disclosure requirement is a cornerstone of fair and efficient markets,” says Rick Fleming, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advocate. Unfortunately, disclosure delivery methods have not kept pace with changes in technology

Speaking at the recent XBRL U.S. Investor Forum in New York City, Fleming stressed that there is much that can be done to improve the delivery of information into the modern marketplace.

That said, in some areas the SEC is already “making great strides” to employ data analytics, Fleming said. The Commission’s internally-developed Corporate Issuer Risk Assessment tool aggregates and organizes XBRL-tagged financial data filed by issuers. The Division of Enforcement uses this tool to detect anomalous patterns in...

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