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April 23, 2021

Eighth Circuit Denies Injured Investors Their Day in Court–Decision Will Help Perpetuate Legalized Bribery in Our Securities Markets


Friday, April 23, 2021

Contact: Pamela Russell at 202-618-6433 or

Washington, D.C.  –  Stephen Hall, Legal Director, and Securities Specialist released the following statement regarding today’s decision from the Eighth Circuit in Ford v. TD Ameritrade:

“Today’s decision by the Eight Circuit Court will cause tens of millions of investors to continue to lose tens of billions of dollars a year in our rigged markets. The anti-investor decision will help perpetuate a system of legalized bribery in our stock markets at the expense of millions of everyday investors. Firms like TD Ameritrade have a legal duty to seek the best execution for their clients’ trading orders. But they routinely send those orders to the venues offering the highest payments to attract order flow, not necessarily to those venues offering the best execution for clients. TD Ameritrade, the exchanges, and other privileged industry participants make huge, virtually risk-free profits, which come out of investors’ pockets.

“That’s why we filed an amicus brief in support of the investors, who were seeking to recover damages for these actions in a class-action lawsuit. Our brief highlighted the important legal duty of best execution, the conflicts of interest that payments for order flow create as brokers decide where to route client orders, and the enormous collective harm that those payments inflict on countless retail investors. We also pointed out the essential role of class action relief as the only realistic means of recovering damages and holding firms accountable for these abusive practices, since individual lawsuits would never be able to address the scope and nature of the harms inflicted. The outcome in this case further confirms the urgent need for policymakers and regulators to finally put a stop to this corrupt system. It is now more important than ever that the SEC, and, if necessary, Congress, investigate and end these abusive practices.”


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

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