The problem with insider obsession


If investors needed another reason to distrust the stock market, here’s a doozy. A study by a trio of researchers in the U.S. and Canada into insider trading found that one-quarter of the big merger and acquisition (M&A) deals over a 15-year period—roughly 460 transactions in total—may have seen people profiting on information before it was public.

... While the idea of corporate insiders whispering tips to their pals is almost a Wall Street cliché—one firmly grounded in reality, mind you—the full extent of the practice has, until now, never been quantified. The academics—McGill University economist Patrick Augustin along with two New York University professors, Menachem Brenner and Marti Subrahmanyam—pored over more than 1,850 U.S. M&A transactions between 1996 and 2012. 

Read full article: Maclean's