May 26, 2010
I have been a liquidity provider in the displayed US equity markets for several years. Over the past few years non displayed liquidity has forced me to no longer bid for stock in the same manner. It no longer makes sense to have 1000 plus share bids .25 to .50 price increments because tier 1 brokers use my price discovery to "lean on" and either fill the order themselves or sell the flow to someone that will. I only get filled after the "elite" wall street players pass on the order. This "second class status" often forces me to pay the spread which amounts to an increase in costs not a savings (paying the spread costs a great deal more than sub penny price impovement saves). It forces liquidty providers in displayed markets to no longer display their bids. Eliminating displayed liquidity providers in favor of tier 1 firms allowed to jump in front of our order by a nominal amount decreases liquidity in the market and is one of the reason the May 6 flash crash took place.
John M Turlington