Risk & Compliance

No 9/11 ”Insider Profits,” SEC Finds

The Securities and Exchange Commission ''did not develop any evidence suggesting that anyone who had advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks ...
Ed ZwirnJuly 27, 2004

In the period before September 11, no speculators made trades in the public markets with the apparent intent of profiting from the terrorist attacks, according to a report by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC, which said that it began an investigation the day after the attacks, reported that it “did not develop any evidence suggesting that anyone who had advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks traded on the basis of that information.”

According to the report, the SEC examined more than 9.5 million securities transactions that took place in the weeks preceding September 11. With the cooperation of the New York Stock Exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers, the American Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the Pacific Exchange, and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the commission reviewed “trading in securities and derivative products of 103 companies in six industry groups with trading in seven markets” and “trading in 32 exchange traded funds and broad and narrow indices.”

In addition to working with criminal law-enforcement authorities including the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, SEC staff members also “sought and obtained information from the legal and compliance departments at securities firms and other financial institutions to determine whether any unusual trading activity had been observed by their staffs in the period,” according to the report.