Trading madness or irresponsibility?
Matthew Lynn, a Bloomberg News columnist, wrote an article in the Today paper about high speed trading to the fine tune of picoseconds, just to take advantage of the next guy who does not have technology as an aid. Now what is a picosecond? This is Matthew’s definition, ‘a picosecond is one trillionth of a second, or …a picosecond is to one second what one second is to 31,700 years.’ This is the direction the stock market trading is heading to. Hey, wait a minute, what is a stock market, a jackpot machine, a casino or a game of chance? ‘A stock market has two core functions. It exists for companies to raise capital needed to invest in their business. And it should help ordinary people to make a decent return on their savings by investing in those enterprises.’ I quote Matthew. And this is nothing new. Why are the regulators allowing themselves to be led by the nose by the big funds to change the nature of stock trading from investment to one of pure gambling, by odds and speed? Mathew added that ‘at a certain point, you have to step back and ask whether this is a road we really want to go down, and whether it performs any useful function.’ He concluded by saying that ‘The stock exchanges should call a halt – and tell the traders that if they only want to hold their investments for a picoseconds, they might be better off going somewhere else. Like a racetrack.’ I would like to add that it is highly irresponsible for stock exchanges to allow this to happen as it not only gives the hedge fund an unfair advantage over other traders, which is a fundamental principle it must uphold, such trading methodology will eventually lead to the destruction of the stock market itself. High speed trading and many other variable methodologies are undermining all the cardinal principles of stock markets, eg churning, creating a false market, uneven playing field, buying and selling without change of ownership etc etc. The rot has started and its natural ending is the demise of the stockbroking industry if this deceptive trend is not stopped.