United States v. O'Hagan, 521 U.S. 642, 17 (1997)

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Opinion of the Court

Our recognition that the Government's "only" is an overstatement has provoked the dissent to cry "new theory." See post, at 687-689. But the very case on which Justice Thomas relies, Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Assn. of United States, Inc. v. State Farm Mut. Automobile Ins. Co., 463 U. S. 29 (1983), shows the extremity of that charge. In State Farm, we reviewed an agency's rescission of a rule under the same "arbitrary and capricious" standard by which the promulgation of a rule under the relevant statute was to be judged, see id., at 41-42; in our decision concluding that the agency had not adequately explained its regulatory action, see id., at 57, we cautioned that a "reviewing court should not attempt itself to make up for such deficiencies," id., at 43. Here, by contrast, Rule 10b-5's promulgation has not been challenged; we consider only the Government's charge that O'Hagan's alleged fraudulent conduct falls within the prohibitions of the Rule and § 10(b). In this context, we acknowledge simply that, in defending the Government's interpretation of the Rule and statute in this Court, the Government's lawyers have pressed a solid point too far, something lawyers, occasionally even judges, are wont to do.

The misappropriation theory comports with § 10(b)'s language, which requires deception "in connection with the purchase or sale of any security," not deception of an identifiable purchaser or seller. The theory is also well tuned to an animating purpose of the Exchange Act: to insure honest securities markets and thereby promote investor confidence. See 45 Fed. Reg. 60412 (1980) (trading on misappropriated information "undermines the integrity of, and investor confidence in, the securities markets"). Although informational disparity is inevitable in the securities markets, investors likely would hesitate to venture their capital in a market where trading based on misappropriated nonpublic information is unchecked by law. An investor's informational disadvantage vis-à-vis a misappropriator with material, nonpublic in-

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