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April 3, 2014

How the industry sees “Flash Boys”

“Michael Lewis, author of Liar’s Poker and The Big Short, has kicked off a storm with his new book, Flash Boys, which argues that the US equity market is rigged by high frequency traders (HFT):

Here’s some of the responses:

William O’Brien, chief executive of Direct Edge, on Twitter: “Having read #FlashBoys in full, I feel it’s an unjust vilification of an entire industry in order to promote one firm’s business model. And there was zero effort to fact check anything said re: BATSGlobal, @DirectEdge or apparently anything else market structure related. In particular, @DirectEdge has never had an order type to “withdraw 50% of [an] order the instant someone tried to act on it”.

“We can & should discuss how to improve our mkts, but baseless accusations of fraud, demonizing #HFT and then pitching them as customers, and a stated plan to “shame” firms into giving your dark pool all of their orders has no place in a good-faith competitive strategy. I look forward to refuting these baseless allegations on behalf of the people across our industry that try to do right every day.”


Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of Better Markets: “He shines a bright light on dark, unregulated, predatory HFT. Too many manipulative and abusive practices are moving tens of billions of dollars from the pockets of investors and retirees into the pockets of HFT firms, Wall Street banks and their enablers like the exchanges.”

“Unfortunately, regulators, policymakers and prosecutors have been AWOL in fighting or stopping predatory HFT. While not all HFT is bad, there is a mountain of independent evidence demonstrating that too much of it is and that HFT provides too few benefits to investors, retirees and markets.”


Read full Financial Times article here.



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