In perhaps the most public investigation on Wall Street in recent memory, Bloomberg News is reporting that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sent subpoenas to six high frequency trading firms.
Six firms receive subpoenas, including two in Chicago, one in New York
Among the six firms are said to be two Chicago firms, Chopper Trading LLC and Jump Trading LLC, and one New York firm, Tower Research, according to the report. The firms did not provide comment. Interestingly, the subpoenas seek to determine if special arrangements exist between the high frequency traders and the exchanges and dark pools.
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Is unfair advantage being provided?
Schneiderman announced last month that an area of interest is if the exchanges and dark pools provide unfair advantage to the high frequency traders. In particular, the focus is on if the traders had access to non-public information and had the ability to trade on that information and if the fast traders were provided other undue advantages.
The issues could get interesting, as exchanges and dark pools lease space next to the exchange trading facility for astronomical sums and pay for tremendously quick connections which provide them benefits they consider legal, but are currently in review.
In addition to the New York Attorney General, the FBI is investigating high frequency trading and two weeks ago had asked the traders to come forward with information voluntarily.