Muzzling the Rumor Mill

Economists say that one of the pillars of efficient markets is the free flow of information. But what happens when information floating around is false? In Thailand, stock-market regulators have decided that's bad for the market—and they're threatening punishment for spreading rumors in the financial community. New rules set down by Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) say stock analysts who issue "negative reports" or pass along rumors will face up to $12,000 in fines and two years of imprisonment. In addition, the commission has established guidelines for securities houses limiting who can speak to the media and what they can...

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