Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date




More than 80 years after US federal law first addressed stock market manipulation, there is still dispute about manipulation law’s foundational principles; this chapter aims to provide clarity by offering an analytical framework for understanding a specific manipulation. There has been a sharp split among the federal circuits concerning manipulation law’s central question: Can trading activity alone ever be considered illegal manipulation? Economists and legal scholars do not agree on whether manipulation is possible in principle, let alone on how to address it properly in practice. The framework offered by this chapter aims to help clarify federal law and may guide regulators in successfully prosecuting financial law’s most intractable wrong. We draw on the tools of microstructure economics and the theory of the firm to provide an analysis of a particular form of manipulation, identify who is harmed by it, and evaluate the social welfare effects.


Banking and Finance Law | Finance and Financial Management | Law