When Michael Lewis declared that high-frequency trading had rigged the U.S. stock markets, it sounded to three law firms and several pension funds like the kind of thing you could sue over. And so they have. For it stands to reason that if the markets are rigged, someone or thing sue-able has rigged them. And, according to the law firms and pension funds (and, for good measure, Rhode Island’s capital, whose mayor just happens to be running for governor on something of an anti-Wall Street platform), the markets have rigged themselves.
The complaint, filed Sept. 2, alleges stock exchanges provided high-frequency firms "enhanced trading information at faster speeds" than other investors received. The exchanges also crafted "complex order types" that gave sophisticated traders advantages, such as the ability to trade in front of other investors to get a better price.