Skip to Content

Stiglitz barred from SEC panel on high-frequency trading

Edinburgh International Book FestivalEdinburgh International Book Festival
Joseph Stiglitz is an American economist and professor at Columbia University.Photograph by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert — Getty Images

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, who called for a tax on high-frequency trading, has been blocked from sitting on a government panel to advise U.S. regulators on equity markets, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The decision to bar Stiglitz, 71, from the panel, which is expected to include Wall Street brokerage firms and academic researchers, illustrates fighting between Republicans and Democrats over the Securities and Exchange Commission initiative. Chair Mary Jo White devised the panel to help the agency gain additional understanding about high-frequency stock trading and dark pools.

Republican Commissioner Daniel Gallagher reportedly opposed Stiglitz’s nomination for the panel, while Democratic Commissioner Luis Aguilar is said to have nominated him. Ultimately, the panel is expected to have more than 15 members, with a final list expected to be announced in the coming days, according to Bloomberg.

“I think they may not have felt comfortable with somebody who was not in one way or another owned by the industry,” Stiglitz reportedly told Bloomberg in a phone interview. “Financial markets are important and I have been worried about the way they have been working and whether they are serving the American economy. I was willing to serve. The next thing I knew, I was told you didn’t get it.”

Stiglitz, a graduate of Amherst College with a PHD from MIT, first became a full professor at Yale in 1970 but now works as a university professor at Columbia University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2001 in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2011, Fortune sister publication Time named Stiglitz one of the world’s most influential people.