Broken Markets: High-Frequency Trading and Predatory Practices

Broken Markets: High-Frequency Trading and Predatory PracticesThe markets have evolved at breakneck speed during the past decade, and change has accelerated dramatically since 2007’s disastrous regulatory “reforms.” An unrelenting focus on technology, hyper-short-term trading, speed, and volume has eclipsed sanity: markets have been hijacked by high-powered interests at the expense of investors and the entire capital-raising process. A small consortium of players is making billions by skimming and scalping unaware investors — and, in so doing, they’ve transformed our markets from the world’s envy into a barren wasteland of terror. 

Since these events began, Themis Trading’s Joe Saluzzi and Sal Arnuk have offered an unwavering voice of reasoned dissent. Their small brokerage has stood up against the hijackers in every venue: their daily writings are now followed by investors, regulators, the media, and “Main Street” investors worldwide. Saluzzi and Arnuk don’t take prisoners! Now, in Broken Markets: How High-Frequency Trading and Predatory Practices on Wall Street are Destroying Investor Confidence and Your Portfolio, they explain how all this happened, who did it, what it means, and what’s coming next. You’ll understand the true implications of events ranging from the crash of 1987 to the “Flash Crash” — and discover what it all means to you and your future. Warning: you will get angry (if you aren’t already). But you’ll know exactly why you’re angry, who you’re angry at, and what needs to be done!

The Author Sal Arnuk is the partner, co-founder, and co-head of equity trading of Themis Trading, LLC, a leading independent agency brokerage firm that trades equities for institutional money managers and hedge funds. Arnuk has extensive experience in equities trading and is an expert in electronic trading and market structure.  Prior to founding Themis in 2002, he was with Instinet Corporation, where he headed the team responsible for equity sales and trading for institutional money managers, for more than 10 years.

His opinions are sought by leaders, regulators, market participants, and the media and are presented via white papers and Themis’ widely read blog. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and speaks about issues involving market access, algorithmic trading, and other sell-and buy-side concerns.

The co-author Joseph Saluzzi is the partner, co-founder, and co-head of equity trading of Themis Trading, LLC.  Saluzzi has extensive experience in equities trading and is an expert in electronic trading and market structure. Prior to Themis, he headed the team responsible for equity sales and trading for hedge fund accounts at Instinet Corporation for more than 9 years.

Saluzzi has provided analysis to regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and as a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s new Subcommittee on Automated and High-Frequency Trading.

Together, they have produced a book that provides an eye-opening view on the way stocks are really traded today—and why the stock markets are broken and desperately need to be fixed. Written in an easily understandable style, the authors explain:

  • The strategies and tactics high-frequency  trading uses to scalp pennies off of nearly every retail and institutional share traded
  • How the stock exchanges provides high-frequency trading with powerful tools that give them an advantage over retail and institutional investors
  • Why the stock markets no longer accurately price the values of the securities in your portfolio
  • What you can do to prevent these and other problems from getting any worse
  • Why retail investors are pulling their money  out of stocks in unprecedented amounts
  • How decades of regulation created the  broken markets we have today
  • Why there are more than 40 exchanges,  sub-exchanges, and dark pools rife with  conflicts of interest where stocks  are traded today
  • How the stock exchanges became for-profit companies and fundamentally changed market structure
  • Why the Flash Crash happened—and why it will happen again
  • How there are two markets—the fast, accurate one that high-frequency trading sees and the slower one that retail and  institutional investors see

This book passionately argues that our markets are broken as a result of High-Frequency Trading HFT algorithms and the unfair conditions in which they operate. Overall, the thoughts and opinions of Sal Arnuk and Joe Saluzzi cannot be ignored. This book is an important read; informative and thought-provoking – one to be taken seriously.


“Read this book before you invest a penny in the stock market.” —Mark Cuban, Owner, Dallas Mavericks

“In one of the most memorable scenes in motion picture history, before giving him the red pill, Morpheus says to Neo, ‘You’re here because you know something. What you know, you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life—that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.’ Although Arnuk and Saluzzi will not expose every dark corner of the ‘matrix’ that our capital markets have become, they will provide the clues to aid you in your quest to understanding  just why more people withdraw from trading fully aware that ‘there’s something wrong. Morpheus also asks, ‘Do you want to know what it is?’ To all who answer yes and take the red pill, read this book.” —Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge

“Markets now trade at the speed of light, apparently benefiting Wall Street ultra-short-term traders over long-term investors and causing more than a few ‘flash crashes’ along the way. Arnuk and Saluzzi intuitively piece together how High-Frequency Trading, for-profit exchanges, fragmentation, regulatory changes, and a ‘need for speed’ over the past 20 years have  dramatically shifted benefits from investors to short-term traders in our increasingly fragile  markets. A must read for anyone concerned about investors, trading, and  the long-term health of U.S. stock markets.” —Professor Michael Goldstein, Professor, Finance, Babson College

“Arnuk and Saluzzi are the Woodward and Bernstein of the securities markets.  Their gutsy, dogged sleuthing exposed the perverse market effects of robotic trading  and predicted an event like the Flash Crash 2010, long before blinkered market regulators had a clue. The two crusaders deserve a medal for looking out for investors.” —Jim McTague, Washington Editor, Barron’s

“Who broke the stock market? The NYSE and NASDAQ, that’s who. They sold the investing public down the river so collocated algo-driven servers of  high frequency trading could steal billions by front running grandma’s mutual fund.  The horrific truth about this legalized theft is all here in black and white.  Read it, and you will never so much as invest one thin dime in U.S. equities again.” —Barry Ritholtz, CEO, FusionIQ; Author, Bailout Nation and  The Big Picture website; Bloomberg personality

“The authors explain in wonderfully clear language how, instead of banning card counters as they do in Vegas, Wall Street has remade itself to not only stack the deck in the card counters’ favor, but to enable them to do so via ever-faster computer networks and algorithms, that leave not only ordinary investors but many sizable institutions, like pension funds, with worse odds than on a lottery ticket. There’s more, much more, in Arnuk and Saluzzi’s book; it’s quite simply a must read, if you care about your capital—or the future of our capitalist economy.” —Kate Welling, Former Founder, Editor, and Publisher, Weeden & Co. LP, Welling@Weeden; Former Managing Editor, Barron’s

Published May 24th 2012 by  (first published )
ISBN  (ISBN13: 9780132875240)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Title Broken Markets: How High Frequency Trading and Predatory Practices on Wall Street Are Destroying Investor Confidence and Your Portfolio
Author Sal L. Arnuk, Joseph C. Saluzzi
Published May 8th 2012
Publisher FT Press
ISBN 0132875241
Language English
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