by Jim Toes
In the movie “Lone Survivor” there is a painfully stressful scene where Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell tries desperately to communicate to a young Afghani boy that he needs a knife to remove shrapnel from his war torn body. The boy, eager to help, tries to understand Marcus with the same level of desperation. As the viewer we breathe a sigh of relief when the boy mouths the word “knife” and leaves the room. Unfortunately, our hopes that Marcus will get what he needs vanish quickly when the boy returns with a duck in his hands.
There are similarities in this scene and the communications between effective parities regarding the recently filed REG NMS Tick Size Pilot Plan. In both situations multiple parties eager to communicate with each other are having a difficult time doing so in their respective native tongues.
“Even with 25 years of experience on trading floors, I’ve been challenged in answering some of the questions posed in the Plan’s filing. Recently, however it dawned on me that unlike previous rule proposals from the SEC which were written by attorneys, this proposal has a heavy influence from economists.”
I include myself in this scenario. Even with 25 years of experience on trading floors, I’ve felt challenged in answering some of the questions posed in the Plan’s filing. Recently, however, it dawned on me that unlike previous rule proposals from the SEC which were written by attorneys, this proposal has a heavy influence from economists.
We have all heard about the team of economists which the SEC has hired. These individuals are extremely intelligent, but what is more impressive about them is their willingness to listen to input from any source. Therefore, we encourage you in writing your own letters, please think about the reader and do your best to communicate your opinions in such a way that you both understand them.
In the Tick Size Pilot Plan, we have an important and also highly controversial and complex issue. Conveying our perspectives in clear, concise terms will go a long way toward ensuring that we emerge from this exercise with a workable, effective and useful pilot program, and not a duck.