Nasdaq: Power To The People?

The SEC plans a radical overhaul to give the little guy a fair shake

When the new NASDAQ Stock Market opened for business in 1971, it was heralded as the market of the future. Instead of face-to-face haggling at the existing exchanges, it featured a new electronic stock-quote system. Since then, NASDAQ has grown astronomically to become the world's second-largest market, after the New York Stock Exchange. For all its expansion and technological advances, though, NASDAQ is increasingly in the spotlight for its failings instead of its strong points. As the market has evolved, it has tilted further away from the small investor in favor of brokerage firms, who make huge trading profits, often at the little guy's expense.

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