When Do Insiders Trade? Opportunistic versus Strategic Behaviour
34 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2015 Last revised: 8 May 2016
Date Written: May 23, 2015
Opportunistic inside-traders are known to trade specific financial contracts, such as options, to maximise the economic benefits arising from their private information. However, the recent conviction of inside-traders Kamay and Hill in the foreign exchange markets demonstrates more complex strategic behaviour: only certain information was traded; losses were generated to mask trading activities; and great care was exercised when placing trades to minimise losses that may arise from offsetting price movements due information shocks occurring in other financial markets. These results are therefore consistent with insiders acting strategically to maximise the value of their information, while also trying to minimise the risk of detection. The analysis also did not reveal leakage of inside information to other traders, likely due to the size of the markets in which the inside trading occurred. This suggests limitations to regulatory surveillance in over-the-counter markets and reinforces the importance of measures to prevent or discourage insider-trading prior to trade execution.
Keywords: foreign exchange markets, insider trading, market surveillance, structural break tests, regulation
JEL Classification: G14, G18, G28, G30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation