December 31, 2015
I write to strongly support the application of IEX as an exchange.
As the founder of a financial services firm working hard to make financial services better align with the interests of most Americans, I know how often our industry ignores the interests of customers and obscures its profits. IEX has the best interests of Americans in mind, and should be allowed to make the markets more just and equitable.
In most industries, the interest of firms is known as the profit motive. A profit motive is fine. If I'm willing to pay a firm $5 for a can of soda, no one advocates on my behalf saying that the price should be $4.
But in financial services, particularly investing, few understand the pricing. Few know what they pay for trades, when exchanges won't disclose their arrangements or how algorithms work for or against us. We don't know if we're paying $10 or $0.50.
IEX is trying to change that, by being more transparent - by telling us what we pay for trades, just like we know what we pay for a can of soda. Transparency usually has the effect of empowering consumers, and driving prices down. It therefore should be supported, as an unambiguous public good.