“High-frequency traders are going on defense.
“To counter what they say is the industry’s unfair reputation as a disruptive force in the markets, a group of high-frequency trading firms have hired a pair of heavy-hitting political strategists and formed a trade group to press their case with regulators and lawmakers.
“The strategists, Kevin Madden and Erik Smith, last week submitted paperwork to found a group called the Modern Markets Initiative, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. Backed by four high-speed firms, it plans to bolster a website Tuesday that will include a video arguing that high-frequency traders have made the financial markets cheaper and faster for investors, a blog to respond to critics and links to academic research.
“Mr. Madden helped run Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, and Mr. Smith was a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
“The move highlights how the upstart computer-driven trading firms, once a marginal, little-known segment on Wall Street, have grown into a mature industry looking to shift the perception of their activities.”
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