The lure of the dark side

It is officially approved. MAS has given the green light to Chi East, a joint venture between Chi X Global and SGX to operate a dark pool trading platform here. This controversial trading platform that hides under a cloud of secrecy for big traders as against the principle of aboveboard and transparency trading is not new in Europe and America. So the big boys, the front runners, the smart asses are doing it and it cannot be wrong. I remember toxic notes and minibonds that were then so respectable because it came from the world's centre of finance and cannot be wrong too. The dark side has always been sexy and exciting. And playing with secrecy, like James Bond, with a licence to kill, is that much more glamorous and adventurous. It has all the thrills of cloak and dagger and the advantage of being above the law. Has any trading principle been undermined by the dark pool operation? Are the operators having an advantage over those that trades in the open? Is the principle of a level playing field been violated? Every step taken, even a small step, towards the dark side, is a wrong step. It may not be apparent now. It will eventually, but only when the sky turns dark. A frog being boiled to death never know how far it had crossed to the side of death. Little incremental changes are deceiving and comforting. Skirting with the danger of going down the slippery slope may not be evident. Yes, a single step has been taken. Welcome to the dark side.

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