This chapter discusses regulatory approaches to overseeing the activities of intermediaries who impart higher orders of meaning onto information flows, such as exchanges, underwriters, auditors, attorneys, securities analysts, and credit rating agencies. It first considers the role that informational intermediaries play in the aggregation and verification of information and in interpreting low-level information for use in higher-order processes (such as by transforming narrative and financial disclosures into prices, ratings, and investment recommendations). It then surveys the traditional utility and gatekeeping models of regulation that impose quasi-public or professional standards of care, independence, and public accountability. The chapter then considers the merits of incentive-based and performance-based approaches to intermediary regulation, such as subscriber-pays models, independent funding, and publication of performance statistics.
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