Michael Lewis on the farce of this week’s “spoofing” arrest

This week’s “spoofing” arrest of a home-based trader in England accused of causing the May 2010 flash crash, insults the intelligence of anyone who pays even a passing attention to the rampant deceit and rigging so dominate in our much abused capital markets today. Michael Lewis offers his own incredulity here, see: Crash Boys:

“Traders who seek to manipulate the U.S. stock market are meant to encounter resistance from the market itself. During the flash crash, Navinder Sarao apparently used Jon Corzine’s now defunct MF Global to place orders and clear trades. Why didn’t MF Global see what he was up to, or at least call him to ask him about it? There’s now a big business on Wall Street of firms renting out their HFT infrastructure to prop shops. Does that business depend on the brokers paying no attention to what their customers are doing? Do the big Wall Street firms that rent out their technology bear any responsibility for what their customers do with the weapons they’ve been given? For that matter, why don’t U.S. securities exchanges assume any responsibility for what happens on them?

Sarao’s manipulative orders were placed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Why didn’t the CME notice what was going on? Or did they notice, and simply not care, as the behavior was standard practice for their high-frequency trading clients?

Then there is the biggest question of all: How can a guy working from his parents’ house in suburban England whose only actionable orders were to BUY stock market futures cause such a sensational collapse in U.S. stocks? On the day of the flash crash, Sarao never actually sold stocks. He was trying to trick the market into falling so that he could buy in more cheaply. But whom did he fool with his trick?”

Jon Corzine’s MF Global was aiding and abetting improper trading activities before the firm collapsed in 2011? Shocking! Of course none of that has hurt Mr. Corzine. Off scot-free from his last endeavor, Corzine is reportedly looking to launch his next hedge fund. It’s very profitable to be above the law…

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