Investors Lose in Today’s Markets, Says Former NYSE Head Grasso

Investors haven’t benefited from changes in the way the market functions, according to Dick Grasso, the former head of the New York Stock Exchange.

“The structure of the market today for major securities has been terribly hurt,” Grasso said in a taped interview for the television program “Wall Street Week” that also was streamed online. “A fast market is not necessarily a fair market.”

Since Grasso stepped down as the NYSE’s chief executive officer in 2003, the dominance of the Big Board and its rival, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., has waned as regulations spurred competitors. Though both NYSE and Nasdaq handle about a fifth of U.S. trading volume, that’s a fraction of their former heft.

Grasso singled out high-frequency trading firms, whose advantage relative to the retail investor is “bad for the country, bad for the market and bad for your business.”

Current regulation has been a “sad, sad experiment,” Grasso said. He recommends a wholesale review of the rules of the markets involving participants from across the exchanges and regulatory agencies.

“Wall Street Week” is produced by SkyBridge Media, an affiliate of SkyBridge Capital, the fund-of-funds business founded by Anthony Scaramucci. SkyBridge, which sometimes has other business relationships with the show’s participants, advertisers and sponsors, pays Fox stations in key markets to broadcast the show and also streams it online every Sunday.