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Forum Post: The stock market is rigged

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 29, 2014, 11:58 a.m. EST by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Computer programs are prowling the stock markets (there are many different stock markets now) waiting for you to make a trade. The instant that you put in an order to buy stock, the computer programs rush to get ahead of your order and buy the stock before you. Then they sell it to you at a profit. That's called "high-frequency trading", or HFT.

How big of an issue is this? Sal Arnuk and Joseph Saluzzi wrote in the book Broken Markets:

Although there are few HFTs relative to the number of investors in the marketplace, the following is generally estimated in the industry:

HFTs account for 50– 75% of the volume traded on the exchanges each day and a substantial portion of the stock exchanges’ profits. • While smaller HFTs churn hundreds of millions of shares per day, a few of the larger HFTs each account for more than 10% of any given day’s trading volume. • HFTs earn anywhere from $ 8 billion to as much as $ 21 billion a year that comes at the expense of long-term investors— you and the institutional investors that manage money on behalf of you.

Arnuk, Sal; Saluzzi, Joseph (2012-05-22). Broken Markets: How High Frequency Trading and Predatory Practices on Wall Street Are Destroying Investor Confidence and Your Portfolio (Kindle Locations 263-269). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

If HFTs account for over 50% of all trades, then that means that EVERY TRADE has a computer program inserted as a middleman. Every single time that you attempt to invest money in the stock market for your retirement, you pay a tax to a shadowy group of technologists who successfully lobbied the SEC to fundamentally change the structure of the stock market in 2007.

Seems like something that OWS would be upset about.

The U.S. stock market was now a class system, rooted in speed, of haves and have-nots. The haves paid for nanoseconds; the have-nots had no idea that a nanosecond had value.

How could this happen?

The Reg NMS system that decentralized the stock market into many different stock exchanges was a regulatory system that was designed to make the stock market more fair, after allegations of front-running in 1987. Reg NMS requires brokers to find the best market prices for the investors that they represent. It was designed to prevent one kind of front-running, but it enabled an entirely new kind of front-running.

Up till then the various brokers who handled investors’ stock market orders had been held to the loose standard of “best execution.” What that meant in practice was subject to interpretation. If you wanted to buy 10,000 shares of Microsoft at $ 30 a share, and the broker went into the market and saw that there were only 100 shares offered at $ 30, he might choose not to buy those hundred shares and wait until more sellers turned up. He had the discretion not to spook the market, and to play your hand on your behalf as smartly as he could. After the brokers abused the trust implicit in that discretion once too often, the government took the discretion away. Reg NMS replaced the loose notion of best execution with the tight legal one of “best price.” To define best price, Reg NMS relied on the concept of the National Best Bid and Offer, known as the NBBO. If an investor wished to buy 10,000 shares of Microsoft, and 100 shares were offered on the BATS exchange at $ 30 a share, while the full 10,000 listed on the other twelve exchanges were offered at $ 30.01, his broker was required to purchase the 100 shares on Bats at $ 30 before moving on to the other exchanges. “It mandated routing to more exchanges than you might otherwise have to go to,” said Schwall. “And so it created more opportunities for people to front-run you.” The regulation also made it far easier for high-frequency traders to predict where brokers would send their customers’ orders , as they must send them first to the exchange that offered the best market price.

That would have been fine but for the manner in which the best market price was calculated. The new law required a mechanism for taking the measure of the entire market— for creating the National Best Bid and Offer— by compiling all the bids and offers for all U.S. stocks in one place. That place, inside some computer, was called the Securities Information Processor, which, because there is no such thing on Wall Street as too many acronyms, became known as the SIP. The thirteen stock markets piped their prices into the SIP, and the SIP calculated the NBBO. The SIP was the picture of the U.S. stock market most investors saw.

Like a lot of regulations, Reg NMS was well-meaning and sensible. If everyone on Wall Street abided by the rule’s spirit, the rule would have established a new fairness in the U.S. stock market. The rule, however, contained a loophole: It failed to specify the speed of the SIP. To gather and organize the stock prices from all the exchanges took milliseconds. It took milliseconds more to disseminate those calculations. The technology used to perform these calculations was old and slow, and the exchanges apparently had little interest in improving it. There was no rule against high-frequency traders setting up computers inside the exchanges and building their own, much faster, better cared for version of the SIP. That’s exactly what they’d done, so well that there were times when the gap between the high-frequency traders’ view of the market and that of ordinary investors could be twenty-five milliseconds, or twice the time it now took to travel from New York to Chicago and back again.

Reg NMS was intended to create equality of opportunity in the U.S. stock market. Instead it institutionalized a more pernicious inequality. A small class of insiders with the resources to create speed were now allowed to preview the market and trade on what they had seen.

Lewis, Michael (2014-03-31). Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (pp. 96-99). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

That's just one example. The problem is the overall pattern:

When [Schwall] saw that Reg NMS had been created to correct for the market manipulations of the old NYSE specialists, he wanted to know: How had that corruption come about? He began another search. He discovered that the New York Stock Exchange specialists had been exploiting a loophole in some earlier regulation— which of course just led Schwall to ask: What event had led the SEC to create that regulation? Many hours later he’d clawed his way back to the 1987 stock market crash, which, as it turned out, gave rise to the first, albeit crude, form of high-frequency trading. During the 1987 crash, Wall Street brokers, to avoid having to buy stock, had stopped answering their phones, and small investors were unable to enter their orders into the market. In response, the government regulators had mandated the creation of an electronic Small Order Execution System so that the little guy’s order could be sent into the market with the press of a key on a computer keyboard, without a stockbroker first taking it from him on the phone. Because a computer was able to transmit trades must faster than humans, the system was soon gamed by smart traders, for purposes having nothing to do with the little guy. † At which point Schwall naturally asked: From whence came the regulation that had made brokers feel comfortable not answering their phones in the midst of the 1987 stock market crash?

As it turns out, when you Google “front-running” and “Wall Street” and “scandal,” and you are hell-bent on following the search to its conclusion, the journey cannot be finished in an evening. At five o’clock Monday morning Schwall finally went back inside his house. He slept for two hours, then rose and called Brad to tell him he wasn’t coming to work. Then he set off for a Staten Island branch of the New York Public Library. “There was quite a bit of vengeance on my mind,” he said. As a high school junior Schwall had been New York City’s wrestling champion in the 119-pound division. “He’s the nicest guy in the world most of the time,” said Brad. “But then sometimes he’s not.” A streak of anger ran through him, and exactly where it came from Schwall could not say, but he knew perfectly well what triggered it: injustice. “If I can fix something and fuck these people who are fucking the rest of this country , I’m going to do it,” he said. The trigger for his most recent burst of feeling was Thor, but if you had asked him on Wednesday morning why he was still digging around the Staten Island library instead of going to work , Schwall wouldn’t have thought to mention Thor. Instead he would have said, “I am trying to understand the origins of every form of front-running in the history of the United States.”

Several days later he’d worked his way back to the late 1800s. The entire history of Wall Street was the story of scandals, it now seemed to him, linked together tail to trunk like circus elephants. Every systemic market injustice arose from some loophole in a regulation created to correct some prior injustice. “No matter what the regulators did, some other intermediary found a way to react, so there would be another form of front-running,” he said. When he was done in the Staten Island library he returned to work , as if there was nothing unusual at all about the product manager having turned himself into a private eye. He’d learned several important things, he told his colleagues. First, there was nothing new about the behavior they were at war with: The U.S. financial markets had always been either corrupt or about to be corrupted. Second, there was zero chance that the problem would be solved by financial regulators; or, rather, the regulators might solve the narrow problem of front-running in the stock market by high-frequency traders, but whatever they did to solve the problem would create yet another opportunity for financial intermediaries to make money at the expense of investors.

Lewis, Michael (2014-03-31). Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (pp. 99-102). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

[Updated with background from this post]

40 Comments

40 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (1936) 2 years ago

a) ''Wall Street to Workers: Give Us Your Retirement Savings and Stop Asking Questions'' :

b) ''Bankers Who Commit Fraud, Like Murderers, Are Supposed to Go to Jail'', by Dean Baker :

c) ''New G20 Rules - Cyprus-style Bail-ins to Hit Depositors AND Pensioners'' by Ellen Brown :

Furthermore, re. the crooked realities & outright fraud of HFT & the 'Dark Pool', please also do try to consider :

caveat - radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 2 points by pigeonlady (284) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Used to be rigged other ways. A 'relative', used to selling 'good' and 'bad' stock as directed, accidentally sold 'bad' stock to a goodfella. I was laughing my ass off at the idea of him running around sweating until his debt to the guy was cancelled by appropriate returns. There were a lot of games played and it was easy to do bait and switch, play both sides against the middle, and variations of anything you can imagine. Run up the price, devalue the stock, all of it just transient worth. No real value. There is our world, folks. It is only worth what you THINK it is!

[-] 1 points by SerfingUSA (451) 2 years ago

Sounds like a Conspiracy Theory.

Starting businesses is very easy to do.

Maybe you should start a private investigation business to Crack this case.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 2 years ago

i do think it is trashy - and i say it because - well you know............................

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Would Thrasmaque have posted an allegation that the stock market is rigged against the common worker? Nope.

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 2 years ago

who knows what that quisling would do - what we do know is your m o is the same as that weasels. throw shit at the working class (and do not make me go back and find your sick little comments) and then run and hide behind spinning and bullshit. trashy jr

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I'm trying to draw attention to a way that banks steal money systematically from the retirement savings of common workers. Not something that Thrasmaque would have done. I think that I might be spelling that correctly but I'm not really sure.

[-] 4 points by elf3 (3758) 2 years ago

We need to evaluate where we invest and put our money. Most people have no ideas which companies they are helping build...the very ones that seek to subdue and make them penniless and powerless. That is not really a wise investment to invest in your own demise...boycott and vote with your dollars. Boycott 401ks...or keep investing in your enemies as you worry their rules aren't fair ( no shit?)...that seems so unwise though...when are we going to develop alternatives to the sham of a 401k...dump them...leap and a net will appear. We will figure out solutions that don't involve gambling...or getting worked over.

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I can sympathize with all of that. The rules definitely are not fair. Whether or not it's even theoretically possible to make a fair system is debatable.

The problem with boycotting the stock market entirely is that the market is our system of allocating capital to business ventures. If people lose confidence in the system and stop investing then it would have a terrible effect on our economy. Unemployment would skyrocket, for example. There needs to be some net before everybody can leap or else the result would be a lot of pain for the poorest workers.

[-] 0 points by elf3 (3758) 2 years ago

From my perspective the goal of nearly every vc startup is to get large enough to be bought by larger corporations...they are temporary constructs that make a very few a lot of wealth...and their small amount of employees they employ get sold under the bus. The poor don't feel the effect of a skyrocketing stock market so I think there is not as much of a connection as all these hedge lovers want us to believe. I think in fact that the damage the stock market does to the working class is far worse than the so called benefits. I think if all these giant competitors lost their investors then they would be firced to think of long term gains over phony inflated short term quarters that often end up long term sinking them or downsizing employees as they sell but making ceos very very wealthy. But perhaps I don't understand enough...how can I use this wonderful investment well to my advantage...by the way I'm broke...have no college...and no assets. Please school me on how I can get in on this? Funny as much profits made I see payrates for the working stiffs hasn't budged in 15 years. From where I stand I don't feel too impresssed all I see it doing is putting more and more wealth into global conglomerates who do horrible things with their profits, bribe my government, and prevent local entrepreneurship by dominating the retail landscape.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 2 years ago

Ha ha ha

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

It's a tax on your 401K that costs individual investors tens of billions per year, and it's a perfect example of what OWS stands against: a rigged system that steals money from individual workers.

The case has already been cracked, and there is an excellent book about the investigation. It's called Flash Boys, and it's about the guy who set out to figure out how it all works so that he could create an exchange that protects investors from this kind of predation.

[-] 2 points by SerfingUSA (451) 2 years ago

Techjunkie don't worry about this. We have a justice department that takes care of illegal activities on Wall st.

To claim otherwise is to acuse our govt of corruption. Are you saying we have an unjust system?

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Yes I'm obviously pointing to high-frequency trading as an example of how the system is unjust. And I haven't even started talking about dark pools yet.

[-] 3 points by johannus (386) from Newburgh, NY 2 years ago

Thanks for that, now can you explain to us why the criminal bankers are not serving long prison terms, even getting bonuses now?

Do you think that they conspired with the politicians in a "fascist-like" way to set up a system which amounts to "socialsim for the 1%, and capitalism for the 99%?

What do you think would be the best way we could prosecute these dudes? You do think that these guys should be brought to justice, don't you?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

In this context I'm going to interpret your phrase "the criminal bankers" as referring to the high-frequency traders who are skimming money off of nearly every stock trade. The answer to your question of why they're not in jail is that they're not doing anything illegal. They're actually using the regulatory system as part of their scam.

They successfully lobbied the SEC to completely transform the stock market in 2007 into something completely different. Now floor of the NYSE is really a prop for television, and the majority of trading is done in a suburban warehouse in New Jersey, housing billions of dollars worth of technology and servers owned or leased to high-frequency trading firms.

Instead of one exchange at the NYSE, now there are dozens of exchanges all over the country. The Reg NMS regulatory system that started in 2007 says that if somebody wants to buy stock on one of the exchanges, and there is no stock available at that price at that exchange, then their order must be "routed out" to another exchange. Routing that order to the other exchange takes time. It only takes milliseconds, but that's still a delay. If somebody has a faster connection between those two exchanges than you do, then they can get out ahead of your order and buy the stock before you do and then sell it to you at a profit. They would not be able to ambush you like that if it weren't for the regulatory system imposed by the SEC that was originally designed to make the market more fair by commoditizing the exchanges.

It's not a conspiracy, so much as an unintended effect. The reason that the criminals are not in jail is that they're not breaking the law. They're simply taking advantage of the new landscape.

[-] 2 points by johannus (386) from Newburgh, NY 2 years ago

You have ignored my questions; then diverted the conversation away form the "criminal bankers," and malfeasant "politicians." And you never did explain why the 1% love socialism, but only for themselves. Then you went on to spew a lot of gobbledygook.

Am I surprised? No, I'm not surprised T.... You never were one to severely chastize the bankers despite all the harm they continue to do.

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I'm explaining a new way that criminal bankers and politicians collude to steal money from working-class people trying to save for their retirement. And that it's more of an unintentional effect (for the politicians) than a willful conspiracy to tax the working class. Seems like something that would interest you.

[-] 3 points by johannus (386) from Newburgh, NY 2 years ago

Wow you're sounding radical-like these days. Let's see....though, is the subtle message, We need fewer regulations on the bankers... rather than more.? And then, So our near melt-down, and all the harm that followed were an "unintentional effect"?

Can I deduce that you do not hold the big bankers and their cohorts as being most responsible for our crappy situation?

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Of course regulations are necessary, especially banking regulations. The problem is that it's nearly impossible to create a regulatory system that doesn't have some kind of vulnerability for systematic abuse. Somebody will always find a way to exploit the system.

The Reg NMS system that decentralized the stock market into many different stock exchanges was a regulatory system that was designed to make the stock market more fair, after allegations of front-running in 1987. Reg NMS requires brokers to find the best market prices for the investors that they represent. It was designed to prevent one kind of front-running, but it enabled an entirely new kind of front-running.

Up till then the various brokers who handled investors’ stock market orders had been held to the loose standard of “best execution.” What that meant in practice was subject to interpretation. If you wanted to buy 10,000 shares of Microsoft at $ 30 a share, and the broker went into the market and saw that there were only 100 shares offered at $ 30, he might choose not to buy those hundred shares and wait until more sellers turned up. He had the discretion not to spook the market, and to play your hand on your behalf as smartly as he could. After the brokers abused the trust implicit in that discretion once too often, the government took the discretion away. Reg NMS replaced the loose notion of best execution with the tight legal one of “best price.” To define best price, Reg NMS relied on the concept of the National Best Bid and Offer, known as the NBBO. If an investor wished to buy 10,000 shares of Microsoft, and 100 shares were offered on the BATS exchange at $ 30 a share, while the full 10,000 listed on the other twelve exchanges were offered at $ 30.01, his broker was required to purchase the 100 shares on Bats at $ 30 before moving on to the other exchanges. “It mandated routing to more exchanges than you might otherwise have to go to,” said Schwall. “And so it created more opportunities for people to front-run you.” The regulation also made it far easier for high-frequency traders to predict where brokers would send their customers’ orders , as they must send them first to the exchange that offered the best market price.

That would have been fine but for the manner in which the best market price was calculated. The new law required a mechanism for taking the measure of the entire market— for creating the National Best Bid and Offer— by compiling all the bids and offers for all U.S. stocks in one place. That place, inside some computer, was called the Securities Information Processor, which, because there is no such thing on Wall Street as too many acronyms, became known as the SIP. The thirteen stock markets piped their prices into the SIP, and the SIP calculated the NBBO. The SIP was the picture of the U.S. stock market most investors saw.

Like a lot of regulations, Reg NMS was well-meaning and sensible. If everyone on Wall Street abided by the rule’s spirit, the rule would have established a new fairness in the U.S. stock market. The rule, however, contained a loophole: It failed to specify the speed of the SIP. To gather and organize the stock prices from all the exchanges took milliseconds. It took milliseconds more to disseminate those calculations. The technology used to perform these calculations was old and slow, and the exchanges apparently had little interest in improving it. There was no rule against high-frequency traders setting up computers inside the exchanges and building their own, much faster, better cared for version of the SIP. That’s exactly what they’d done, so well that there were times when the gap between the high-frequency traders’ view of the market and that of ordinary investors could be twenty-five milliseconds, or twice the time it now took to travel from New York to Chicago and back again.

Reg NMS was intended to create equality of opportunity in the U.S. stock market. Instead it institutionalized a more pernicious inequality. A small class of insiders with the resources to create speed were now allowed to preview the market and trade on what they had seen.

Thus— for example— the SIP might suggest to the ordinary investor in Apple Inc. that the stock was trading at 400– 400.01. The investor would then give his broker his order to buy 1,000 shares at the market price , or $ 400.01. The infinitesimal period of time between the moment the order was submitted and the moment it was executed was gold to the traders with faster connections. How much gold depended on two variables: a) the gap in time between the public SIP and the private ones and b) how much Apple’s stock price bounced around. The bigger the gap in time, the greater the chance that Apple’s stock price would have moved; and the more likely that a fast trader could stick an investor with an old price. That’s why volatility was so valuable to high-frequency traders: It created new prices for fast traders to see first and to exploit. It wouldn’t matter if some people in the market had an early glimpse of Apple’s price if the price of Apple’s shares never moved.

Apple’s stock moved a lot, of course. In a paper published in February 2013, a team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, showed that the SIP price of Apple stock and the price seen by traders with faster channels of market information differed 55,000 times in a single day. That meant that there were 55,000 times a day a high-frequency trader could exploit the SIP-generated ignorance of the wider market. Fifty-five thousand times a day, he might buy Apple shares at an outdated price, then turn around and sell them at the new, higher price, exploiting the ignorance of the slower-footed investor on either end of his trades. And that was only the most obvious way a high- frequency trader might use his advance view of the market to make money.

Lewis, Michael (2014-03-31). Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (pp. 96-99). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

That's just one example. The problem is the overall pattern:

When [Schwall] saw that Reg NMS had been created to correct for the market manipulations of the old NYSE specialists, he wanted to know: How had that corruption come about? He began another search. He discovered that the New York Stock Exchange specialists had been exploiting a loophole in some earlier regulation— which of course just led Schwall to ask: What event had led the SEC to create that regulation? Many hours later he’d clawed his way back to the 1987 stock market crash, which, as it turned out, gave rise to the first, albeit crude, form of high-frequency trading. During the 1987 crash, Wall Street brokers, to avoid having to buy stock, had stopped answering their phones, and small investors were unable to enter their orders into the market. In response, the government regulators had mandated the creation of an electronic Small Order Execution System so that the little guy’s order could be sent into the market with the press of a key on a computer keyboard, without a stockbroker first taking it from him on the phone. Because a computer was able to transmit trades must faster than humans, the system was soon gamed by smart traders, for purposes having nothing to do with the little guy. † At which point Schwall naturally asked: From whence came the regulation that had made brokers feel comfortable not answering their phones in the midst of the 1987 stock market crash?

As it turns out, when you Google “front-running” and “Wall Street” and “scandal,” and you are hell-bent on following the search to its conclusion, the journey cannot be finished in an evening. At five o’clock Monday morning Schwall finally went back inside his house. He slept for two hours, then rose and called Brad to tell him he wasn’t coming to work. Then he set off for a Staten Island branch of the New York Public Library. “There was quite a bit of vengeance on my mind,” he said. As a high school junior Schwall had been New York City’s wrestling champion in the 119-pound division. “He’s the nicest guy in the world most of the time,” said Brad. “But then sometimes he’s not.” A streak of anger ran through him, and exactly where it came from Schwall could not say, but he knew perfectly well what triggered it: injustice. “If I can fix something and fuck these people who are fucking the rest of this country , I’m going to do it,” he said. The trigger for his most recent burst of feeling was Thor, but if you had asked him on Wednesday morning why he was still digging around the Staten Island library instead of going to work , Schwall wouldn’t have thought to mention Thor. Instead he would have said, “I am trying to understand the origins of every form of front-running in the history of the United States.”

Several days later he’d worked his way back to the late 1800s. The entire history of Wall Street was the story of scandals, it now seemed to him, linked together tail to trunk like circus elephants. Every systemic market injustice arose from some loophole in a regulation created to correct some prior injustice. “No matter what the regulators did, some other intermediary found a way to react, so there would be another form of front-running,” he said. When he was done in the Staten Island library he returned to work , as if there was nothing unusual at all about the product manager having turned himself into a private eye. He’d learned several important things, he told his colleagues. First, there was nothing new about the behavior they were at war with: The U.S. financial markets had always been either corrupt or about to be corrupted. Second, there was zero chance that the problem would be solved by financial regulators; or, rather, the regulators might solve the narrow problem of front-running in the stock market by high-frequency traders, but whatever they did to solve the problem would create yet another opportunity for financial intermediaries to make money at the expense of investors.

Lewis, Michael (2014-03-31). Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (pp. 99-102). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

[-] 1 points by johannus (386) from Newburgh, NY 2 years ago

Does all this crap mean that you will take the lead in pursuing jail time for the big bankers? You do believe that "the 1% love socialism, but only for themselves," right?

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Your primary concern is getting me to repeat your slogans?

[-] 2 points by johannus (386) from Newburgh, NY 2 years ago

If you stated your true beliefs, especially on the criminal bankers, nobody would have to be repetitive. Instead, you continue to shovel diversionary bs.

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

What about the bankers who haven't committed any crimes but who have worked within the bounds of the regulatory system to establish an unequal system where the elites predate upon the masses? Would Occupy Wall Street oppose that kind of thing? Or is all of that stuff just gobbeldygook?

[-] 2 points by SerfingUSA (451) 2 years ago

The title of your post is : "the stock market is rigged". But, the deeper you go down the rabbit hole, the more you realize "our whole society is rigged!".

When the govt is complicit with excessive money influence in legislation. When the wealthy can purchase the loyalty of lawmakers and circumvent legitimate representative democracy. When corporations, lobbyists and banks conceive our laws. When the lawless write the law. When the little criminals are in jail, and the big criminals run our society, "the whole system is rigged!".

When your govt is "out of bounds". When the laws are "out of bounds". When those who are supposed to be the guardians of morality and justice in the law, are "out of bounds". When we have a justice system that no longer cares about justice. Then our society has become "out of bounds". Our bounds are "out of bounds".

[-] 2 points by johannus (386) from Newburgh, NY 2 years ago

So are you're kinda saying, that the people who paid billions of dollars on lobbying to have Glass-Steagal repealed (which weakened the regulations) on the 12th try, should not face justice because they were "within the bounds of the regulatory system"?! Edit; Are you laughing too?

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 2 years ago

you do realize that very few people have any meaningful money in the stock market don't you? certainly not working class people - your bias is showing - again

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Over 50 million American workers have 401K retirement plans that are invested in the stock market. Around 20% of American retirement investment is tied up in 401K plans. I'm explaining a way that bankers and lobbyists and politicians and have established a system that enables unregulated technocratic opportunists to tax the investments of all of those workers at a rate of tens of millions of dollars per year.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 2 years ago

As I imagine you know most of those 50 million workers have next to nothing in retirement savings. And please do not make me look up the numbers. I have quite a full day of tennis tomorrow so not much time for your usual sophistry

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

401K plans hold over four TRILLION dollars in assets, so those 50 million workers are doing something right. But the system itself is rigged against them. A shadowy network of predatory computer programs is stealing a little bit of their money on each transaction.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 2 years ago

you seem incapable of rational thought. here is the question - the bottom 60% of your 50 million workers - how much do they have in those 401k plan? and the other - what 90 million - their savings? do a bit of research and i think you will find that a small percentage of u.s. families derive much benefit from the stock market. you know any true occupy person would understand that instinctively

[-] 6 points by agkaiser (1935) from Fredericksburg, TX 2 years ago

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

― Upton Sinclair

variations on many of Sinclair's themes explain a lot, perhaps all, of what neo-cons call thought.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 2 years ago

well done man - i will use that one!

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

If I were a high-frequency trading programmer then my salary might depend on my not understanding what's going on here. And Flash Boys says that some of the most valuable programmers didn't understand what was happening.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 2 years ago

ok so your salary does not explain your inability to understand the most basic issues. what is it then? and can you post some numbers for workers wealth - stock market and otherwise. i think you will find that the vast majority of americans have no real wealth to speak of - what they do have is in their homes. please do that research for me

[-] 1 points by SerfingUSA (451) 2 years ago

There are plenty of stock markets around the world. Find one you can trust. Invest your money there. It's very easy to do.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 2 years ago

Your best bet is paying off any debts you may have, and investing in your own business. I wouldn't waste my time on any stock market.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 2 years ago

good advice - find a local community bank and put any savings there

[-] -2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Yeah there's another problem: most of the stock markets around the world are reorganizing to the decentralized system of many smaller markets like our new system. The American style of stock market is being franchised all over the world. This new multi-market architecture is what makes high-frequency trading possible. Trades are no longer handled by humans on the trading floor, now that's all for show. All over the world, not just here.

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8782) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

OMG

you got all these "radicals" work up over HFT?

touche'

LMFAO