gallinggalla: (Default)
In light of the impact that High Speed Trading had on the financial markets yesterday, and given that high-speed computer trading (where computers execute literally thousands of trades a second) are coded to intentionally destabilize the markets to take advantage of the resulting volatility, I'd like to make a simple proposal: All trades must be the result of a direct order by a trader.  It doesn't matter whether a small investor is trading 10 shares of stock, or a fund is trading 10 million, I want to see that order come from a human being.  It can be executed by a computer, but there must be a one-to-one traceable record that says "such-and-so trader at Barclay's / Chase / Royal Bank ordered the purchase of 500,000 shares of XYZ, and that order was executed at such-and-so date and time".

What this will mean:
  • It will make the person who ordered the trade personally accountable for that trade and its knock-on effects.  This will also make it harder for large funds and banks from engaging in arbitrage, since every trade will point to a responsible person. It will also make it harder to trade in risky derivatives for the same reason.
  • It will stabilize the markets by removing automatic means of creating and capitalizing on fraction-of-a-second market swings.
  • It will level the playing field, at least to some extent, so that small investors have a chance to compete with larger investors.
  • It will hopefully help to scale back the blatant abuses being engaged in by so much of the financial industry Obviously this won't directly stop banks from pressuring poor people into high-interest-rate credit cards and mortgages, but if the banks can't trade so easily in derivatives, it will make it harder for them to finance such risky loans.
I'd like also to see a Tobin Tax implemented to discourage speculation, high-speed trading, and day trading and encourage long-term investment.  The tax could be structured so that rates are higher for day traders and large institutional investors than they are for small investors who are in it for the long haul.

We need to loosen the death-grip that the Jamie Dimons of the world have on the financial markets.  People like him are being paid tens of millions of dollars a year to manipulate the markets to their own enrichment, while ordinary working-class and middle-class people get screwed, and that has to stop.

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gallinggalla

August 2012

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