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Alternative Market Briefing

Global legislative pressure mounts on high frequency trading

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: At the end of last week, the finance committee of the German lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, held an expert consultation on the draft Act to reduce the risks arising from high frequency trading. Shortly after that meeting, US Congressman, Edward Markey, said that the SEC also has the power to limit high frequency trading. The moves by both countries follow similar regulator scrutiny in Asia and France, as Opalesque has previously covered.

It is estimated that around 40% of the total German trading activity results from high frequency trading. In a brief explaining the German action, attorneys for law firm Simmons & Simmons note that while this volume may seem high only a few players in-country are exclusively devoted to trading in this way. German lawmakers said during the hearing that they thought that while some participants say high frequency trading contributes positively to fairer pricing in markets, the overall loss of trust resulting from the presence of high frequency traders and the growth of flash crashes as algorithms fail, outweighs any positive contribution......................

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