The federal government’s planned changes in how it releases economic data to business journalists is being caused by high-tech trading, reports Geoffrey Rogow of Dow Jones Newswires.
Rogow writes, “The hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was called to examine the Labor Department’s planned changes. Starting next month, the department has said it will no longer allow news agencies to use customized computer networks to send market-moving employment data to a range of clients, including traders. Currently, a number of news agencies, including Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire, maintain specialized hardware and software on government premises, which allow them to transmit the data to subscribers as soon as figures are released.
“Mr. Fillichio’s remarks shed more light on why the Labor Department will change procedures for how the data are distributed. Previously, the Labor Department had only said the decision was geared at ‘leveling the playing field’ among news organizations.
“The push by news providers to serve the more technologically savvy of its customers, Mr. Fillichio said, has led to roughly seven instances where issues arose tied to security or the release of data ahead of the permissible time.
“‘The competition now extends to providing the raw data to subscribers trading on it through algorithms, which is not the purpose of the lockups,’ said Mr. Fillichio. ‘Lockups’ is the term used for the media gatherings on government facilities as news outlets prepare for the data releases.”
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