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What’s the frequency, SEC?

Sergey Aleynikov is not the Wall Street folk hero that some Goldman Sachs conspiracy theorists are making him out to be.

If Aleynikov stole some of the top secret code for Goldman’s automated, super-fast trading platform, as prosecutors contend, then he broke the law, and the 39-year-old former Goldman programmer should be appropriately punished.

But this strange Wall Street crime story isn’t just about one man’s guilt or innocence. The case should also serve as an alarm for securities regulators to start taking a close look at so-called high frequency trading and the impact that this speed-of-light trading strategy is having on the markets.

After all, if a computer code is valuable enough for someone to steal, and critical enough for a Wall Street firm to go to federal authorities to protect, one would think that regulators would want to know why it is so important.

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