Jon Stewart is stunned by the world of HFT (where "stock exchanges sell the right to advance information to high frequency traders [by locating their computers closest to the exchange]") and the mainstream media's immediate jump to defend it "as good for us", but as Michael Lewis explains "anyone whose livelihood is dependent on Wall Street [from CNBC, FOX and even the SEC] is invested in this... it sounds like a conspiracy."
In this excellent interview, The Daily Show doubter asks "we have set a standard for share buying (you can't but 1/100th of a share) so why not set a standard for frequency of trading?" Lewis stoic response sums up our world perfectly, "in a sane world, we would... but the money is too big," and adds that indeed that is what IEX is doing. The HFTs "function on volume and volatility" alone and "they know the prices before you do... which is illegal if it's a person, but as a computer, meh?"
Michael Lewis and Jon Stewart Part 1: What is HFT? "HFT is a middle-man in a transaction they have no business being in.. it is totally unnecessary Wall Street intermediation" How does it work? "The stock exchanges in this country sell the right to advance information to high frequency traders [by locating their computers closest to the exchange]" What is front-running? "front-running as a person is illegal, but as a computer, meh"
Michael Lewis and Jon Stewart Part 2: Conspiracies - "It's Not American; It's Not Even Capitalism. It's Cheating", Trading Frequency standards, and independent exchanges