WASHINGTON, D.C.—Stephen Hall, Better Markets Legal Director and Securities Specialist, released the following statement on the oral argument scheduled for Monday, October 25, 2021 before the D.C. Circuit in Citadel Securities LLC v. SEC:
“Our securities markets are rigged in favor of Wall Street at the expense of everyday retail investors. A handful of high-frequency trading (or “HFT”) firms like Citadel spend vast sums of money to acquire sophisticated equipment and nonpublic information that give them a huge and unfair advantage in the securities trading marketplace. This sort of activity not only hurts investors but also drives away large institutional investors, the life-blood of our markets. The result is less liquidity, transparency, and price discovery on the exchanges, which hurts everyone except the HFTs of the world.
“That’s why we weighed in with an amicus brief to help defend a new order type developed by IEX, an investor-friendly exchange. That order type helps neutralize the HFT advantage, and the SEC rightly approved it late last year. However, Citadel is fighting desperately in court to protect its ability to generate near-certain profits—to print money in effect—through their privileged data access and sophisticated trading technology.
“We’ll be tuning in as the Court hears oral argument on Monday morning. We hope the Court gets a clear picture of what’s at stake and comes to the right conclusion: The SEC acted in accordance with the law and its core mission as it put investor protection and market integrity ahead of industry profits. The Court should uphold the SEC’s approval of the IEX order type.”
Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.org.