Monday, September 21, 2009

SEC considering banning flash trading

What you mean those with the most information about the stock market shouldn't be able to sell an exclusive ability to privileged clients to place their trades before the general public? You don't say?

But that is what the SEC is considering! Last week SEC commissioners unanimously voted to consider banning the practice known as flash trading, a notoriously rigged insider game that governments and most financial services honchos have blithely ignored for years. Nasdaq banned the practice last month. The London Stock Exchange recently eliminated a policy that encouraged it.

Flash trading may account for as much as 50% of market volume. Troublingly enough no one really knows for certain. It is a computing and algorithmic arms race that is going on beneath the conscious eye of the public that introduces real systemic risk, (and apocalyptic visions of machines gone haywire.)

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