David Kirkpatrick

September 18, 2009

SEC to ban flash orders

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:06 pm

Want a peek into the dirty world of high finance and get a more detailed picture of the total fail of the Securities and Exchange Commission? Check out this NYT article.

From the link on how flash orders were abused:

Critics say flash orders favor sophisticated, fast-moving traders at the expense of slower market participants. Using lightning-quick computers, high-frequency traders often issue and then cancel orders almost simultaneously and get an early peek at how others are trading.

And getting a bit more granular on the abuse:

Getting flashed an order offers traders a distinctive edge. When buy and sell orders come into an exchange, they are first flashed to those paying to see them for 30 milliseconds — 0.03 seconds — before they are available to everyone else. In the blink of an eye, the systems can detect patterns and get a jump on other investors. Before others even sees the order, high-frequency traders swoop in and then out.