Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank our witnesses who have come before the panel to testify today.
In this new century, the financial markets, like other markets must adjust. However, the safety and soundness of our markets, that makes them the envy of the world must not be compromised. Investors, both large and small, must be protected.
Electronic Communication Networks are already shaping our financial markets and their adjustment to the worldwide market of the new millennium. ECN's are becoming more and more popular. They have been touted as a way to foster efficiency, enhance competition, increase the information available to brokers, dealers and investors, facilitate the offsetting of investors' orders and contribute to the best execution of such orders.
However, there are those who are concerned about market fragmentation and would like to create a Central Limit Order Book or CLOB. I know that many of the ECN's fear a CLOB would drive them out of existence.
I know the committee listened to many of the CLOB advocates at its hearing in New York in February. I look forward to hearing from the witnesses on how they believe the markets of the new millennium can and should be structured.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.