FINRA, ICE, NASDAQ, and NYSE Will Know All Your Personal Details and Trading Patterns Once the C.A.T. is Fully Operational


They will have access to the complete trading history of every brokerage account in America

They will know your name, address, SIN Number, and even your Taxpayer Identification Number

These are the companies that will have access to every single trade you have ever made; and for the rest of your life. Many of these companies you probably know very well.

Below are some excerpts from the official proposal

It “will allow for the prompt and accurate recording of material information about all orders in NMS securities, ***INCLUDING THE IDENTITY OF THE CUSTOMERS***, as these orders are generated and then routed throughout the U.S. markets until execution, cancellation, or modification. This information will be consolidated and made readily available to regulators in a uniform electronic format.”

It will be a private company owned and operated by the exchanges and FINRA

Consolidated Audit Trail, LLC has entered into an agreement with FINRA CAT LLC obligating FINRA CAT LLC, as the Plan Processor, to perform the functions and duties contemplated by the Plan, including the management and operation of the CAT.

The Participants will jointly own on an equal basis the Company. The Company will create, implement and maintain the CAT. The limited liability company agreement (“LLC Agreement”) itself, including its appendices, is the proposed Plan, which would be a national market system plan as defined in Rule 600(b)(43) of Regulation NMS”.

Amazon will be in charge of running the cloud. The maintenance fee is projected to be as high as $2 billion per year.

It will be the second largest data repository in the world

From now on, whenever they say “the SRO’s”, substitute that with: “the brokers (FINRA) and the privately owned for profit and publicly traded stock exchanges that derive a large majority of their income from selling market data”.

NASDAQ 2018 Annual Report

ICE (NYSE) 2018 Annual Report

Think about that for a second. If you are having trouble processing what is going on right now, don’t feel bad, because the logic is so counter-intuitive that you are probably experiencing something known as cognitive dissonance; what occurs when two actions or ideas lack any kind of logical consistency with one another. This is a common reaction for most average hard working people when they try to make sense of the opaque phraseology and inventive acronyms frequently used on Wall Street.

Just so the sheer absurdity of what they are proposing truly sinks in, let’s repeat this statement one more time.

the brokers (FINRA) and the privately owned for profit and publicly traded stock exchanges — that derive a large majority of their income from selling market data — want access to the trading histories, names, addresses, dates of birth, broker account locations, previous addresses, and tax identification numbers of every single brokerage account in America, on demand, and at one location”

Starting to make a little more sense now?

“The Plan Processor(FINRA) will create and maintain a method of access to the CAT Data stored in the Central Repository that includes the ability to run searches and generate reports. The method in which the CAT Data is stored in the Central Repository will allow the ability to return results of queries that are complex in nature including market reconstruction and the status of order books at varying time intervals”.

Just imagine the HFT one could create with such a vast repository of market data. Remember, we have artificial intelligence now.

Even SEC Commissioners think this is outrageous

The excuse they are using as the basis for gaining access to all of our personal information is to prevent another Flash Crash; a one time market event that happened 10 years ago, lasting all of 36 minutes.

Each national securities exchange and national securities association currently registered with the Commission would be a Participant in the Plan. The names and addresses of each Participant are set forth in Exhibit A to the Plan. Article III of the Plan provides that any entity approved by the Commission as a national securities exchange or national securities association under the Exchange Act after the Effective Date may become a Participant by submitting to the Company a completed application in the form provided by the Company and satisfying each of the following requirements: (1) executing a counterpart of the LLC Agreement as then in effect; and (2) paying a fee to the Company in an amount determined by a Majority Vote of the Operating Committee as fairly and reasonably compensating the Company and the Participants

Consistent with Appendix D, Data Retention Requirements, the Central Repository will retain the information collected pursuant to paragraphs (c)(7) and (e)(7) of Rule 613 in a convenient and usable standard electronic data format that is directly available and searchable electronically without any manual intervention by the Plan Processor for a period of not less than six years. Such data when available to the Participant regulatory staff and the SEC will be linked. In addition, the Plan Processor will implement and comply with the records retention policy contemplated by Section 6.1(d)(i)”.

Apparently we are just supposed to trust this cartel of exchanges and brokers with the largest most sophisticated centralized repository of market data the world has ever seen.

“Consistent with Appendix D, Data Access, the Plan Processor will provide Participants and the SEC access to the Central Repository (including all systems operated by the Central Repository), and access to and use of the CAT Data stored in the Central Repository, solely for the purpose of performing their respective regulatory and oversight responsibilities pursuant to the federal securities laws, rules and regulations or any contractual obligations”.

They even admit in their own company SEC filings that they have been the subject of serious data breaches that resulted in the loss of important proprietary trading data. This was only last year

Here’s the worst part about all of this. These exchanges, or “SRO’s” — you know, that cute little acronym they keep throwing around — pay FINRA, another “SRO” (“Self Regulatory Organization“) to regulate them.

Yes, they pay their regulator to regulate them.

Back before the worst financial crisis in American history, ratings agency’s were being paid to rate Mortgage Backed Securities by the very brokers that were selling these, as they put it, “pieces of sh*t”. You must remember; those “structured financial products” that wiped away millions of peoples life savings and left countless others out of a job or living on the streets.

These very same brokers that sold those, again as they put it, “pieces of sh*t, are the same organizations that pay FINRA to regulate them. Do you really think it’s a good idea to be giving these people all of your personal information, then allowing them to connect this information to every single trade you will ever make for the rest of your life? You might be able to justify giving the SEC access to something like this, but not them. No way. They will do whatever it takes to increase their profits, and their actions have shown this time and time again. They will even break the law if they have to, because as they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

From Nasdaq’s 2018 Annual Report

“Under Graber, I learnt that Wall Street was an illusion,” Israel said. “There were different magicians using different tricks in different ways. But everyone cheated. It shocked me so much in the beginning. I admired these people. And they cheated”, Sam Israel, The Independent

The Plan Processor will, at least annually and at such earlier time promptly following a request by the Operating Committee, certify to the Operating Committee that only the Participants and the SEC have access to the Central Repository (other than access provided to any Industry Member for the purpose of correcting CAT Data previously reported to the Central Repository by such Industry Member).

The CAT NMS Plan requires regulator access by two different methods: (a) an online targeted query tool with predefined selection criteria to choose from; and (b) extractions of data via a query tool or language allowing querying of all available attributes and data sources.
Appendix D of the CAT NMS Plan sets forth additional requirements concerning regulator access. The CAT NMS Plan describes the responsibilities of the Plan Processor for the CAT.

The Plan Processor must include penetration testing and an application security code audit by a reputable (and named) third party prior to launch as well as periodically as defined in the SLA(s).

Reports of the audit will be provided to the Operating Committee as well as remediation plan for identified issues. The penetration test reviews of the Central Repository’s network, firewalls, and development, testing and production systems should help the CAT evaluate the system’s security and resiliency in the face of attempted and successful systems intrusion

The Operating Committee will consist of one voting member representing each Participant and one alternate voting member representing each Participant who will have a right to vote only in the absence of the Participant’s voting member of the Operating Committee. Each of the voting and alternate voting members of the Operating Committee will be appointed by the Participant that he or she represents, will serve at the will of the Participant appointing such member and will be subject to the confidentiality obligations of the Participant that he or she represents as set forth in Section 9.6. One individual may serve as the voting member of the Operating Committee for multiple Affiliated Participants, and such individual will have the right to vote on behalf of each such Affiliated Participant.

All Company Interests will have the same rights, powers, preferences and privileges and be subject to the same restrictions, qualifications and limitations. Once admitted, each Participant will be entitled to one vote on any matter presented to Participants for their consideration and to participate equally in any distribution made by the Company (other than a distribution made pursuant to Section 10.2 of the Plan). Each Participant will have a Company Interest equal to that of each other Participant.

A member of the Operating Committee or any Subcommittee thereof (as discussed below) shall recuse himself or herself from voting on any matter under consideration by the Operating Committee or such Subcommittee if such member determines that voting on such matter raises a Conflict of Interest. In addition, if the members of the Operating Committee or any Subcommittee (excluding the member thereof proposed to be recused) determine by Supermajority Vote that any member voting on a matter under consideration by the Operating Committee or such Subcommittee raises a Conflict of Interest, such member shall be recused from voting on such matter. No member of the Operating Committee or any Subcommittee will be automatically recused from voting on any matter except matters involving Material Contracts as discussed in the prior paragraph, (they decide together if a participant is not allowed to vote)

(From CBOE’s 2018 Annual Report)
Upon final implementation of the provisions of the CAT, data will be required to be reported to a central repository the following day by each SRO and broker-dealer. On November 15, 2016, the SEC approved the CAT. In 2017, Thesys CAT LLC (“Thesys”), a subsidiary of Thesys Technologies, LCC, was selected as the plan processor with the responsibility to build and operate the CAT. There is a phased implementation through 2021. The first phase was required to go live on November 15, 2017, but failed to go live on that date. The CAT went live in November 2018 …. The current CAT plan processor, Thesys, is expected to be replaced by a new plan processor (FINRA). The second phase is scheduled to go live November 15, 2019″

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