SEC: exchanges liable to pensions for selling order flow to HFT front-runners

One small step for sanity, the rule of law and accountability: the SEC has told an important court that exchanges should not be exempt from investor lawsuits that allege that the exchanges privileged High Frequency Trading firms (HFT).

Thanks to years of being allowed to purchase high speed robbery of other legitimate investors, HFT firms have amassed very deep pockets indeed. May herds of litigation lawyers now go after these predators like rabid dogs. So, so deserved. See: SEC supports pension funds in dispute over HFT:

A group of public and private pension funds is suing a number of high profile US exchanges – including NYSE, NASDAQ and Bats – on the grounds that services provided by the exchanges to HFT firms allowed those firms to front-run the pension funds.

Their claim had initially been dismissed by the court on the grounds that the exchanges had immunity. However the pension funds appealed and have found an important ally in the SEC which said immunity applies to the exchanges only when they “act as regulators of their members” and not as service providers.

The case is being heard in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which hears appeals for the Court for the Southern District of NY. The latter is the center for much securities market litigation due to its proximity to Wall Street.

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