Now raising intellectual capital
Securities regulators will often settle for the proverbial low-hanging fruit — prosecuting easy cases that don’t make a big difference in the way Wall Street operates. But it does give the appearance they’re doing something.
And so it is with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposal to stamp out flash trading, an unsavory practice that has permitted some high-frequency trading desks to get a millisecond sneak peak at market trade orders.
Banning flash trading certainly makes sense, because there’s no reason that trading firms with lightning-fast, computer-driven buy and sell programs should get an advantage over the rest of the market.
But the furor over flash trading has always been something of a sideshow because it affects a minuscule percentage of the tens of millions of high-frequency stock trades made each day.
Is that seat hot enough for you yet, Mr. Lewis?
The CEO of Bank of America has another legal headache, the Charlotte Observer reports. The Justice Department and the FBI in Charlotte, N.C., are investigating the bank’s star-crossed acquisition of Merrill Lynch. the paper says. The report has few details about the investigation, other than it has been under way for six months:
The FBI involvement opens up the possibility of criminal charges, although the scope and possible outcome of the probe remain unclear.