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High Frequency Trading

Who wins in the new world of ultra-fast financial transactions? Critics say high-frequency trading harms the interests of everyday investors.

Who wins in the new world of ultra-fast financial transactions?
Imagine you are heading to the shops and someone steals your shopping list. Then they race ahead and bought all the goods ahead of you, forcing you to buy your shopping from them at a higher price. That is what is happening to ordinary share traders like pension funds. When they go to buy some shares, they find high frequency traders have snapped them up nanoseconds before them and want to sell them at a higher price. These traders now account for the majority of all trades on major stock markets. David Grossman explores the rights and wrongs of this new world with Brad Katsuyama, CEO of IEX, a new stock exchange which wants to clamp down on high frequency traders, and Professor Donald MacKenzie of the University of Edinburgh.

Producer: Matthew Chapman

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15 minutes

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