Regulating high frequency trading

Thank you for that kind introduction. And my sincere thanks to everyone here for joining this lunchtime session. It’s a great pleasure and privilege to return to New York.

I want to offer a few reflections this afternoon on market innovation and, in particular, the on-going debate around high frequency trading (HFT), which has dominated global media over the last few months.

For regulators of course, the interest here is not simply around the novelty of 21st century technology (as important as this is) it’s also in the link between speed, market fairness, efficiency and safety – which is clearly a much longer-running saga in financial services.

And I feel able to speak with at least a little authority on this, having spent much of my career at the London Stock Exchange. And the London Stock Exchange was, of course, the venue for the first high frequency trade.

Now, I sense a little scepticism here – I am sure you are asking how anybody could be so definitive on such a fast-moving topic. Even the experts can’t quite agree a firm definition of what a high frequency trade is, so let me explain.

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