It looks like the rest of the industrial world is seriously address the risks and effects of high frequency trading:
After years of emulating the flashy United States stock markets, countries around the globe are now using America as a model for what they don’t want to look like.
Industry leaders and regulators in several countries including Canada, Australia and Germany have adopted or proposed limits on high-speed trading and other technological developments that have come to define United States markets.
The flurry of international activity is particularly striking because regulators have been slow to act in the United States, where trading firms and investors have been hardest hit by a series of market disruptions, including the flash crash of 2010 and the runaway trading in August by Knight Capital that cost it $440 million in just hours. While the Securities and Exchange Commission is hosting a round table on the topic on Tuesday, the agency has not proposed any major new rules this year.
Here is the kicker, unlike the claims of the HFT mafia, it turns out that markets run better when they have limits placed on them:
The broadest and fastest changes have come out of Canada, where this spring regulators began increasing the fees charged to firms that flood the market with orders. The research and trading firm ITG found that the change had already made trading more efficient by reducing the crush of data burdening the market’s computer systems.
Now Canadian trading desks are preparing for rules that will come into effect on Oct. 15 and curtail the growth of the sophisticated trading venues known as dark pools that have proliferated in the United States. While the regulation has been hotly debated, many Canadian bankers and investors have said they don’t want to go any further down the road that has taken the United States from having one major exchange a decade ago to having 13 official exchanges and dozens of dark pools today.
It’s time to realize that most financial innovation is not an advance in the art, but rather an exercise in fraud and rent seeking, and we need to stop it.