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BetterIR Spotlight: High Frequency Trading

Every once in a while on the blog, we’re going to highlight a particularly compelling piece from our BetterIR newsletter. Today, we turn our attention to an article from June’s issue, in which we jumped on the High Frequency Trading freight train that Michael Lewis drove in the spring with the release of his book “Flash Boys”.

Of course, as far as we’re concerned, he was riding our rails. You’ll see what we mean.

From June 2014’s BetterIR:
High Frequency Trading – Let’s Do This Again!

If you didn’t believe the power of a compelling narrative before, the release of Michael Lewis’ “Flash Boys” and the onslaught of media coverage that followed (along with the requisite rumblings in Washington), should remove any trace of doubt. High frequency trading (“HFT”) has been an undeniable part of the US equity marketplace for years.

As Lewis points out in his book, HFT critics like Themis Trading’s Sal Arnuk and Joe Saluzzi and Nanex’s Scott Hunsader have done their best to bring this issue to light. However, it took Lewis’ book and his ability to tell a compelling story to push HFT to the mainstream. Business news outlets, namely CNBC, and its talking heads, like Jim Cramer, couldn’t hide their annoyance that Lewis was getting credit for an issue that they claimed they were covering for years. In “Flash Boys” Lewis hits all the right buttons by doing as good a job as possible of explaining how HFT works and how longer-term investors are put at a disadvantage and overall market risks are increased. (Memo to CNBC: this is what happens when you emphasize personalities over reporting.)

Anyway, we digress and it is now Ipreo’s turn to join CNBC in touting that, “hey, we’ve been talking about HFT for nearly five years ourselves!”

To find out what we said about HFT way back in 2009 – and what we think about it now, read the full piece.

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