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Thursday
Aug302012

High Frequency Trading - Should We Slow Down?

By 2010 high-frequency trading accounted for over 70% of equity trades in the US and is rapidly growing in popularity in Europe and Asia.

A July, 2011 report by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), an international body of securities regulators, concluded that while "algorithms and HFT technology have been used by market participants to manage their trading and risk, their usage was also a clearly a contributing factor in the flash crash event of May 6, 2010".

 

 

With renewed attention to the growing influence of high-frequency trading in stock markets, NPR Planet Money highlights an interview with Thomas Peterffy, considered one of the fathers of computerized trading.

“Peterffy says automation has done some very good things for the world. It’s made buying and selling stocks much much cheaper for everyone. But Peterffy thinks the race for speed is doing more harm than good now… Peterffy is in favor of more regulation. He’d like to see rules that slow things down. The challenge of course: People will try to find ways around the rules.”

Said Peterffy, “We are competing at milliseconds. And whether you can shave three milliseconds of an order, has absolutely no social value.”

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