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Is High-Frequency Trading Insider Trading?

Is High-Frequency Trading Insider Trading?
Illustration by Steph Davidson

Ever since Michael Lewis went on 60 Minutes Sunday night to accuse high-frequency traders of rigging the stock market, it has been hard to avoid the debate over HFT’s merits and evils. Some of it’s been useful; most has been a lot of angry yelling. The peak of the frenzy came on Tuesday afternoon in a heated segment on CNBC with IEX’s Brad Katsuyama and BATS Chief Executive Officer William O’Brien.

To me, this debate is just circling the ultimate question: Should high-frequency trading be considered insider trading?