February 14, 2010
I would like to point to a good case as to why the following firm, and all others like it, should be forced to stop using high frequency trading and algorithms... A story entitled "'Goldman Sachs Spy' Sergey Aleynikov indicted on charges of stealing secret data." from the NYDailyNews.com on 2-12-2010 where it states that Sergey Aleynikov, the so-called "Goldman Sachs spy," has been indicted on charges that he stole data on the bank's heavily guarded high-frequency trading platform....", and goes on to state that "The platform, which generated millions in profits yearly, gave Goldman an advantage over competitors, allowing massive volumes of trade to be conducted at high speeds, according to the indictment."
The story states ...an advantage over competitors,..., hmm, shouldn't it state an unfair advantage instead? Well, isn't insider trading an unfair advantage, and isn't it illegal? Why should anyone be allowed to have an electronic unfair advantage over it's competitors? And why is a millisecond trade really even needed? I guess if Goldman Sachs created a nice rumor, released it to the press, bought stock a millisecond later, that would be a good thing right? The trade took place a millisecond after the rumor, so it's legal right? They made a quick million in profit after all the other computer algorithms caught on, bought the stock, and drove up the price, so that's good also, right?
I understand that we live in a capitalist system, but we are also a democracy that is not supposed to let the little guy be crapitalized on...
Since before the financial meltdown Goldman Sachs has legally crapitalized on the entire world... Just go to Google News, type in Goldman Sachs, and tell me I'm wrong. Tell me that they didn't screw Greece like they screwed American home owners.
High frequency trading and algorithms are just another tool of the trade... The more they dehumanize the trade the worse and unfair it gets, and these guys are professionals at being unfair.
You have to remember that company stocks that are traded involve real people. Their lives and their families lives depend on the companies for jobs. They are not just letters and numbers to be traded on an exchange. If a giant financial firm wanted to it could put out a rumor, have an algorithm drive the stock into the dirt, shut the business down, and put every person on unemployment. As long as the financial firm somehow made a profit they wouldn't give a crap about the people.
If nothing else, maybe slowing down trading will give the companies time to dispel rumors and innuendo before it creates undeserved fortunes or worse, ruins lives.