Charles Schwab - yes that Charles Schwab - and the CEO of that brokerage firm Walt Bettinger, wrote a barnburner of a column today. They called on regulators to fix the problem that ails markets: their inherent unfairness to individual investors. The two wrote: "It has become nearly impossible for individual investors to compete on a level playing field when it comes to investing in individual stocks." Words you no doubt have heard before on The Willis Report - coming from me.
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High frequency traders dominate trading on the New York Stock Exchange and it's little wonder. These superfast traders were getting an early look at trades - setting them up for easy profits. The folks at Thomson Reuters recently got in trouble for releasing economic data early to their customers but the big exchanges have done similar things. Regulators are looking the other way and the media is so cowed by the big wall street firms they don't do anything either.
Believe me, nobody in my business seriously criticizes the New York Stock Exchange because it is an iconic symbol of American pride. But it is one in need of reform and change. One that should be serving our needs. Not a handful of traders with superfast computers in lower Manhattan.