May 26, 2010
If NBBO is no longer the National Best Bid and Offer as the initials imply due to dark pools, internalized orders, and order flow buying and selling, what incentive is there for anyone other than the people for whom these orders are not hidden to provide liquidity? It seems highly likely that the famous "flash crash" of the other day will not be the first nor last of such things as liquidity dries up and the stock market becomes the exclusive domain of the large institutions whose computers can see the real NBBO in real time and who profit by trading against their own customers. The argument that the current regulations allow for $ 0.0001 price improvement is clearly specious. The market worked best and had the largest public participation and the greatest liquidity when minimum price increments were 6.25 cents. Let's at least get back to a minimum price increment of 1 cent and let's shine some light into the "dark pools".