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April 7, 2014

Goldman Wins, Credit Suisse Loses in Lewis’s League Table

“Just as Wall Street league tables rank firms by the size of their deals, author Michael Lewis provides his own hierarchy in the way his latest book describes banks’ stock-trading divisions.

“In Lewis’s telling, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) reformed and is treating customers more fairly, especially after a management change last year at its electronic-trading unit. By contrast, Lewis describes an executive of IEX Group Inc. who says he found evidence that he thinks shows Credit Suisse Group AG’s (CSGN) trading platform gives an advantage to high-speed traders.

“The book’s hero, IEX Chief Executive Officer Brad Katsuyama, at one point says there are only 10 brokers doing the right thing in a U.S. stock market that Lewis says is rigged by Wall Street brokerages, exchanges and high-frequency traders. Lewis lists only five of those firms — which Katsuyama labels “good brokers” — by name: Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Goldman Sachs, AllianceBernstein LP’s Sanford C. Bernstein and Royal Bank of Canada (RY), Katsuyama’s former employer.

“In “Flash Boys,” released on March 31, Lewis says dark pools owned by brokerages act as a key intersection between high-frequency traders and brokerages’ investor clients. The banks, Lewis says, charge HFT firms for the right to trade against orders placed by their brokerage customers.”

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Read full Bloomberg article here.

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