May 27, 2010
I have been a small investor and financial advisor for three decades. I am increasingly alarmed at the effects caused by High Frequency Traders on ordinary market participants.
They contribute nothing during normal times. But during periods of market stress they amplify downward pressure on prices, before buying support can react. During the recent "Flash Crash" high frequency traders contributed to the huge downdraft by removing liquidity exactly when it was needed most. The SEC must use its powers to stop such abuses and protect the small investor from a repeat of the market chaos of May 19th.
All exchanges for publicly traded equities should follow the rules put in place by the NYSE. There is no need for conjecture as to the effectiveness of those rules because we have recently witnessed a real-time experiment under the most difficult market conditions possible. There were no stocks that traded at $.01 on the NYSE like there were at NASDAQ. I hope you will harmonize the circuit breaker rules across exchanges and adopt the NYSE version for all.
Lawrence H. Anvik