New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman yesterday penned an New York Daily News op ed criticizing high speed trading as using “questionable practices” and “driving up the cost for other purchasers of stock.”
Schneiderman’s op ed, available here, comes on the heels of his statements last month calling for “tougher regulations and market reforms intended to eliminate the unfair advantages commonly provided to high-frequency trading firms at the expense of other investors.”
The AG’s March 18th Press Release stated:
To address this imbalance in the markets, which now tilt in favor of high-frequency traders, Attorney General Schneiderman today called on the exchanges and other regulators to review the feasibility of certain market structure reforms that could help eliminate some of the fundamental unfairness in our markets. Currently, securities are traded continuously, so that orders are accepted and matched by price, with ties broken by which order arrives first. This system emphasizes speed over price, rewarding high-frequency traders for flooding the market with orders. One detailed proposal would seek to correct this imbalance by processing orders in batches in frequent intervals, to ensure that price – not speed – is the deciding factor in who obtains a trade.
According to the Daily News, Schneiderman appeared earlier this week on CBS This Morning (video here), where he stated that high frequency trading’s “race for speed” has a “destabilizing effect” and can produce “flashes, crashes and problems.”
In yesterday’s op ed, Schneiderman wrote that he is focusing on the firms that give high speed traders “special access” to get a sneak peak at the market, stating that “Our markets work best when everyone plays by the same set of rules.”