Remember the "Flash Boys" over at IEX?
Michael Lewis' modern financial superhero team is in the final stages of their master plan to become a publicly-traded - but fairer - exchange. But that last step is a treacherous one, and Brad Katsuyama and his crew are finding themselves being opposed by their archfrenemies over at NYSE.
The SEC is doing its whole "listening to comments" routine with regard to IEX's application, and NYSE general counsel Elizabeth King has offered her company's two cents in a letter that starts off with an analogy about nothing.
Dear Mr. Fields:
NYSE Group (“NYSE”) appreciates the opportunity to provide written comments in connection with the Investors’ Exchange LLC (“IEX”) Form 1 application (“Application”) and applauds IEX’s planned evolution from dark pool to a lit exchange that is regulated to display public quotes and increase public price transparency. The nature of the IEX application is concerning to us, however. Like the “non-fat yogurt” shop on Seinfeld, which actually serves tastier, full-fat yogurt to increase its sales, IEX advertises that it is “A Fair, Simple, Transparent Market,” whereas it proposes rules that would make IEX an unfair, complex, and opaque exchange.
See, the NYSE wants to protect all those Wall Street George Constanzas from being ripped off by this fancy new yogurt. But the fat/non-fat thing is bad. If you want to do a yogurt analogy, Ms. King, allow us to advise:
NYSE is like vanilla Dannon. You know what you're getting, and you trust that it will probably disappoint you and maybe even cheat you out of a better experience.
IEX is like pumpkin spice Chobani. It's Greek but from upstate New York and the guy who makes it is weird and you're obviously getting caught up in the hipster charm what with the pumpkin spice thing...
Seriously, take a moment and consider your options here, SEC. It's not a good idea to move to quickly when adjudicating containers of curdle, pungent mold. Take a moment and slow things down so you don't screw this up... oh, wait.
Nah, you're right Ms. King, stick with the Seinfeld fat/non-fat thing.