Wow. That NYT article in Sunday’s Business section that we highlighted yesterday really riled quite a few feathers (Fast Traders, In Spotlight, Battle Rules)! The number of comments following the article was quite telling, and if the article was supposed to help the image of HFT, then it failed horribly. The comments were overwhelmingly “anti-HFT”, highly informed, and they make one wonder just what the dang Regulators are thinking as they rubber-stamp rule after rule making it easier for HFT to game our markets.
Allow us to share some of the comments!
– There is no good reason these high volume, high speed traders should be allowed to continue to operate the way they do. They manipulate and distort the markets, taking profits away from regular investors while adding nothing of value. This is just another way to rig the game for the benefit of the few. Time to end it. Put a limit on the number of trades per day, and slow down the speed at which trades can be entered.
– No matter what they ‘want’ to be called, they are part and parcel of what a sick place America has become. They buy influence, and seek to buy even more. They contribute nothing to society of real value. They make a mockery of an honest day’s work, where men actually EARN what they get paid. And they fit right in with what is fast becoming one of the most easy-to-buy-off and hypocritical governments in the world.
– “As a group, they earned $12.9 billion in profit in the last two years”. I translate that as: – They skimmed of $12.9 billion of the possible gains of proper investors who invest in industry and commerce to allow them to create value for the world.
– How cute. Calling cheaters “cheetahs.” And oh yes, “modernization,” the same snuggly sounding buzzword that brought us CDO’s. Sharpies are always trying to tell you how their scam is good for you. Same old criminal mind, just another trick to game the system.
– The supposed point of Wall Street is to provide capital for business. The whole point of high frequency trading is to game the system. The claim that it makes trading more “democratic” is laughable, unless you happen to have a bank of computers installed in the same cage as an exchange. Low-latency proximity just creates yet another opportunity for big players to skim the casino they’ve created. And the claim that high frequency trading creates desirable liquidity? Theft creates liquidity too: “Want to buy this TV? It fell off a truck.” High frequency trading, like nearly all the financial “innovations” of the past few decades, is just another way to bury transactions under layers of complexity — to make it easier to steal.
– Can you imagine Congress ever closing or slowing down the revolving door when they and their staff and depend on it — either directly to find work outside of Congress or indirectly through campaign contributions?
– They claim they are helping the average investor by lowering trading prices. Bull! That amounts to less than pocket lint for them compared with their billions of dollars in profits, and the millions they are spending on lobbyists to “polish” their image. These companies produce nothing — zip — except profits for themselves by trading stocks for microseconds. Why on earth is it taking regulators so much time to figure they are doing nothing but gaming the system because they can afford a tool that the average person can’t?
– A small group of willful people have stolen the stock market from investors and turned it in to their personal sandbox. They bully the public and the exchanges as if they were “king of the hill” in the schoolyard. The regulators (SEC suffering from Cox and Levitt dysfunction syndrome) are clueless. The Congress has given these thugs the best
regulation money can buy. The most substantial enablers of this state of affairs are the four congress members from Manhattan: Rangel, Nadler, Maloney and Velazquez and their Queen Bee, Schumer.
– Criminal operations, call it a rose by any other name. HFT= high frequency theft of national wealth. Brought to you by Golden Slacks, Inc.
We also thought we should bring out, again, the November 2010 excellent Bloomberg article that dished on who the PTG-HFT-members were donating to: Bloomberg Nov 2010 HFT Lobbying Article.
Highlights from that article:
– Getco paid the Rich Feuer Group over $730,000 in the last two years to lobby Congress
and the SEC.
– RGM hired Patton Boggs and paid them over $180,000 in 2010 to lobby Congress and
– Quantlab also hired Patton Boggs to do the same.
– Former Chris Dodd aide, Alex Sternhill, paid over $310,000 to lobby for Hudson River
– Jeb Hensarling and Spencer Bachus of the House Financial Committee are among the
largest recipients of donations.
– Also opening their briefcases to the HFT money are Eric Cantor, Republican Senator
Mark Kirk, Senator Charles Schumer, Congresswoman Melissa Bean from Illinois
We think folks get it. We think they are fed up. And we think that everyone should see who exactly the PTG Lobbying group donates campaign funds to, and make sure that those politicians get voted out on principal. As an aside, the spokesman for the PTG Lobbying Group is James Overdahl, former chief economist at… you guessed it… the SEC.