[I]n a few years people are going to be doing what they always do when the economy tanks: they will be blaming immigrants and poor people.
(The Big Short, 2015)
Charlie Munger [Vice-chairman, Berkshire Hathaway]:
[High frequency trading is] the functional equivalent of letting a lot of rats into a granary [— it does] the rest of the civilization no good at all.
(Investors Conference, 2014)
Financial intermediation is a tax on capital …
[I]t’s the toll paid by both the people who have it and the people who put it to productive use.
[It is, in effect, a private Tobin tax.]
(Flash Boys, 2014, p 109)
Fair Trading vs Free Riding
In 2014, [one] money manager bought and sold roughly $80 billion in US stocks.
The teachers and firefighters and other middle-class investors whose pensions it managed were collectively paying a tax of roughly $240 million a year for the benefit of interacting with high-frequency traders in unfair markets. …
The big banks and the exchanges have a clear responsibility to protect investors — to handle investor stock-market orders in the best possible way, and to create a fair marketplace.
Instead, they’ve been paid to compromise investors’ interests while pretending to guard those interests. …
[T]here is now a minority [of Wall Street dissidents] trying to fix the [system:]
- their new stock market [IEX] is flourishing;
- their company is profitable;
- Goldman Sachs remains their biggest single source of volume; [and]
- they still seem to be on their way to changing the world.
(Flash Boys: One Year Later, Vanity Fair, March 2015, emphasis added)
High Frequency Theft