Tag: SEC PFOF Ban

Wall Street Threatens to Sue SEC if New Proposals Pass

Market News Daily - Wall Street Gets Ready to Sue SEC if Proposals Pass.
Market News Daily – Wall Street Threatens to Sue SEC if New Proposals Pass.

Wall Street is threatening to sue the SEC if proposals that will change how retail orders are executed gets passed.

Gensler has been critical of payment for order flow (PFOF), whereby some retail brokers (including Schwab, ETrade and Robinhood) route orders to electronic market makers known as wholesalers (including Citadel and Virtu), who pay the brokers for access to that order flow.

These wholesalers may send the orders to exchanges and profit from spreads or even from price direction through the derivatives market, hence the major conflict of interest.

SEC Commissioners Hester Peirce and Mark Uyeda, both Republicans, also filed statements opposing the proposal. 

“This latest effort to order competition threatens to create disorder in the capital markets, the functioning of which is so important to the rest of our economy,” Peirce wrote in a statement. 

The Intercept wrote a piece on Hester Peirce in 2015 titled, “SEC Nominee To Oversee Wall Street Works At Think Tank Dedicated To Blocking Regulation.”

And according to the research, Hester Peirce received 98% of her salary from the Mercatus Center, a “think tank” that provides an academic façade to a radical anti-regulatory agenda.

In other words, Hester is a plant on the SEC meant to cater to Wall Street, not retail investors.

‘We The Investors’ Challenges Wall Street

‘We The Investors’ is taking Wall Street head on.

More than 1,300 letters have been submitted to the SEC supporting rules proposed in December that represent the biggest changes to equities trading in nearly two decades, according to Reuters.

The collective of retail investors have joined ‘We The Investors’ led by Dave Lauer in efforts to combat Wall Street as a legitimate organization that sprouted from the events of the ‘meme stock’ frenzy in 2021.

We The Investors has held two online meetings since December with SEC Chair Gary Gensler, who took questions directly from retail investors on the proposals, which include requiring most retail stock orders to be sent to auctions to boost competition.

Other proposed rules call for a new standard for brokers to demonstrate they’ve gotten the best execution for clients on transactions, as well as lower trading increments and access fees on exchanges, and stronger disclosure around retail order executions.

But Wall Street is pushing back.

The NYSE teamed up with retail broker Charles Schwab Corp and market maker Citadel Securities earlier this month to ask the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to withdraw two recently proposed rules aimed at revamping how stocks trade.

The move represents a coordinated industry push back against what are potentially the most impactful proposals in the SEC’s biggest attempt to reform stock market rules in nearly 20 years.

The Securities and Exchange Commission scrapped plans to vote Wednesday on a rule that would have increased regulators’ visibility into financial risks at some hedge funds and private equity funds.

After scheduling the vote last week, the five-member commission “decided to take a little more time” on the rule, an SEC spokeswoman said.

The SEC Faces Potential Lawsuits from Wall Street

Market News Today - Wall Street Gets Ready to Sue SEC if Proposals Pass.
Market News Today – Wall Street Gets Ready to Sue SEC if Proposals Pass.

Wall Street institutions are already threatening litigation if the proposals go through. 

“Ultimately, it’s going to end up, unfortunately, sadly, probably in litigation [if Gensler] decides to go down this road,” Virtu CEO Doug Cifu said in an interview at the Securities Traders Association of New York conference on March 27th at the NYSE. 

Cifu specifically cited the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), which governs the way government agencies may propose and establish regulations. 

The SEC must follow procedures outlined in the APA.  If not, it can get sued. 

Gensler is proposing a new rule, Regulation Best Execution, that would establish a national best execution standard to ensure broker-dealers send orders to the venue that will get the best price for buyers and sellers.

But FINRA is currently in control of the best execution rule, a rule Gensler believes the SEC should have, not FINRA.

FINRA is under serious scrutiny due to many scandals with the most recent having to do with the U3 halt and delisting of MMTLP stock.

Retail investors have also criticized the SEC for kneeling to Wall Street and failing to protect small investors from predatorial market practices.

Many in the retail community say SEC commissioners should be voted in, not appointed by the U.S. President.

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Market News Today - Wall Street Gets Ready to Sue SEC if Proposals Pass.
Market News Today – Wall Street Gets Ready to Sue SEC if Proposals Pass.

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Citadel Said in 2004 Payment for Order Flow Creates Conflict

Market News Today: Citadel said payment for order flow creates conflicts of interest.
Market News Today: Citadel said payment for order flow creates conflicts of interest.

Citadel pushed back on the possibility of a payment for order flow (PFOF) ban in June of 2022.

But Citadel said in 2004 that payment for order flow “creates conflicts of interest and should be banned”, according to an SEC file.

Gary Gensler said there may be a conflict of interest for brokers and that too much power is concentrated in a handful of market makers.

The SEC Chairman plans to reroute retail investors into an automated system that would provide a deep pool of liquidity.

“Citadel Group urges the Commission to ban payment for order flow. This
practice distorts order routing decisions, is anti-competitive, and creates an obvious and substantial conflict of interest between broker-dealers and their customers.

Citadel against payment for order flow 2004.
Citadel against payment for order flow 2004.

Broker dealers accepting payment for order flow have a strong incentive to route orders based on the amount of order flow payments, which benefit these broker-dealers, rather than on the basis of execution quality, which benefits their customers.”

These statements come directly from Citadel in the filing.

After the GameStop and AMC incidents in 2021, retail investors urged the SEC to ban payment for order flow after discovering Robinhood reroutes retail orders to short-seller Citadel.

“Redditors, thank you so much for helping create the best pipeline we’ve ever had”, said Ken Griffin on Business Insider.

Citadel and Industry Push Back

A spokesperson for Citadel Securities released the following statement to CNBC:

“It is important to recognize that the current market structure has resulted in tighter spreads, greater transparency, and meaningfully reduced costs for retail investors. We look forward to reviewing the proposals and working with the SEC and the industry towards our longstanding objective of further improving competition and transparency.”

“You need to be very deliberate on that approach,” Ken Bentsen, president and CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) said.

“We have been calling for a review of market structure for some time, but let’s be careful not to try to fix things that may not be broken,” he said. “The retail investor is getting a better deal than they ever have.”

It looks like a lot has changed since 2004.

Citadel was able to identify how advantageous PFOF was and ultimately decided to weaponize it themselves.

Should the SEC ban PFOF?

What are your thoughts on Citadel’s statements versus where the company stands today with the practice?

Also Read: How Bloomberg’s Beloved Citadel Securities Manipulates the Market

Market News Published Daily

Market News Today: Citadel said payment for order flow creates conflicts of interest in 2004.
Market News Today: Citadel said payment for order flow creates conflicts of interest in 2004.

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Virtu is Suing the SEC Over Records Request

Market News: Virtu sues SEC | Doug Cifu.
Market News: Virtu sues SEC | Doug Cifu.

Virtu Financial Inc is suing the SEC, alleging on Tuesday its primary regulator had not responded to a public records request.

Virtu, a market maker with a large equities business, said it submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in June to determine if the SEC had met legal requirements to evaluate potential investor harm and market risks while considering new rules for the handling and execution of retail stock orders.

The SEC declined to comment.

The FOIA request sought, among other things, communications between SEC Chair Gary Gensler and various stakeholders involved in retail stock trading.

“What we’re doing is exercising our rights as citizens … to understand what this Chair is looking at and who he’s meeting with,” Virtu Chief Executive Doug Cifu told Reuters.

“We think it’s important that there be clarity and transparency — that’s what the SEC requires of us as a listed company, so we’re just taking that same standard and saying, be transparent in how you’re dealing with potentially seismic changes to equity market structure,” he added.

Cifu has said Virtu may sue the SEC over other potential rule changes Gensler outlined in June.

What Does the Market Maker Fear?

Virtu SEC Lawsuit Update.
Virtu SEC Lawsuit Update.

The industry has attacked the SEC as several plans to level the playing field for retail investors have been proposed, one being the ban of PFOF (payment for order flow).

Now it seems market makers such as Virtu want to know ahead of time what the SEC is up to in order to act now.

Virtu suing the SEC speaks volumes since majority of retail investors have doubted the SEC has true power to create any change in the market.

I’m curious to know what you think.

Leave your thoughts in the comment section down below.

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Citadel Paid SEC $22.6 Million to Settle Charges of Misleading Conduct

Citadel Paid SEC $22.6 million
Market News: SEC and IEX go after Citadel years after charges of misleading conduct.

In 2017, Citadel paid the SEC $22.6 million to settle charges that it misled customers about the way it priced trades.

The SEC found that between 2007 and 2010, Citadel used two algorithms to execute stock trades on customers’ behalf that gave investors a worse price for their trades, even when Citadel knew better prices existed elsewhere.

The SEC penalized Citadel for failing to disclose the use of those algorithms to clients.

“This affected millions of retail orders,” said Stephanie Avakian, the acting director of enforcement at the SEC at the time.

Citadel neither admitted nor denied the findings.

Today, Citadel has lost the court case against the IEX order type crippling its trading strategy, more on that down below.

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Citadel cheats retail investors

Citadel has been cheating retail investors for years now through a variety of loopholes the SEC has failed to stop.

The market maker is responsible for processing almost 50% of retail orders.

Citadel receives these orders by paying brokers such as Robinhood in what’s known as PFOF, or payment for order flow.

The problem arises when these orders are then traded through foreign exchanges allowing Citadel to pocket the best trading bid, essentially stealing from retail.

They accomplish this through HFT, or high frequency trading.

And because 90%-95% of retail orders are not executed through the lit exchange (NYSE), it gives Citadel’s short positions a massive advantage against retail investors going long.

This means only a small fraction of the demand is truly reflected in a company’s share price.

What is currently being done about the market manipulation?

SEC Citadel

The SEC has publicly discussed the possibility of banning PFOF for good, but the industry has lashed out.

In October of last year Citadel sued the SEC over the new D-Limit order that would protect displayed lit orders from being picked off by latency arbitrage players.

IEX is an exchange that relies heavily on the D-Limit order to outperform displayed order prices on other exchanges.

This means that predatory strategies such as market arbitrage, where high frequency firms profit from lower prices in foreign exchanges, will no longer be able to do so.

High frequency trading has been used against retail investors to not only gain better prices on stock from other ‘slow loading’ exchanges, but by also using this advantage to sell stock significantly cheaper.

So when you find an exchange that is showing lower prices, hedge funds betting against certain tickers may borrow high in another exchanges while benefiting the difference from selling the stock in those displaying lower prices.

The D-Limit order uses AI technology that provides more consistent and accurate data across all exchanges.

How will IEX affect Citadel?

how will IEX affect Citadel

In short, Citadel Securities and other high frequency trading firms will lose a lot of money.

The reason being is they are making money every second from using this high frequency trading technology to their benefit by getting better prices than anyone else in the market.

The IEX Exchange would put Citadel Securities in the same courtyard as retail investors, leveling the playfield.

IEX would create a foundation for a fairer market.

Citadel paid the SEC $22.6 million to settle charges on misleading conduct in 2017, but karma seems to be catching up for the hedge fund and market maker.

On July 29th, 2022, it was announced that Citadel has lost the court case against the IEX order type.

This is massive win for retail investors and a huge blow to the market maker and hedge fund.

But the SEC still has a lot of work ahead, especially if they’re looking to earn the trust of retail investors.

Only time will tell how significant this battle truly is.

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Sources: Reuters.

Related: Citadel Loses Court Case to IEX Order Type

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Citadel Pushes Back on Possible SEC PFOF Ban

SEC PFOF Ban
Market News: SEC PFOF Ban threatens corrupt institutions

The SEC is addressing the possibility of banning PFOF (payment for order flow).

Citadel and other institutions are speaking out.

Gary Gensler said there may be a conflict of interest for brokers and that too much power is concentrated in a handful of market makers.

The SEC Chairman could be re-routing retail investors into an automated system that would provide a deep pool of liquidity.

If this goes through, it will be historic.

Let’s discuss it.

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SEC Payment For Order Flow ban

SEC PFOF Ban

Gary Gensler will be speaking on Wednesday in regard to best execution for market orders.

The SEC has been under heavy scrutiny by retail investors as the agency has not made any progress to level the playfield.

The government branch that’s supposed to protect retail investors has even gone as far as taunting investors for buying ‘meme stocks’ recently.

But industry participants have quietly been saying that Gensler will likely use a speech at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange Conference on Wednesday to float several proposals.

These may include best execution and payment for order flow according to CNBC.

Last year during the ‘meme stock’ frenzy, Citadel processed retail’s orders through Robinhood.

Citadel paid Robinhood to give them those orders (PFOF).

However, retail investors don’t want their orders going to Citadel since the market maker/hedge fund/dark pool are short on ‘meme stocks’.

90%-95% of retail’s orders are not processed though the lit exchange.

Citadel takes these orders and trades them at a bargain through foreign exchanges.

Although PFOF is an expense to them, they make a lot more money processing the orders.

If the SEC PFOF ban goes through, orders would not be processed by Virtu or Citadel.

Citadel fights back

A spokesperson for Citadel Securities released the following statement to CNBC:

“It is important to recognize that the current market structure has resulted in tighter spreads, greater transparency, and meaningfully reduced costs for retail investors. We look forward to reviewing the proposals and working with the SEC and the industry towards our longstanding objective of further improving competition and transparency.”

“You need to be very deliberate on that approach,” Ken Bentsen, president and CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) said.

“We have been calling for a review of market structure for some time, but let’s be careful not to try to fix things that may not be broken,” he said. “The retail investor is getting a better deal than they ever have.”

Would you pay small trading fee if it meant Citadel and Virtu no longer reroute your orders to benefit their pockets?

Leave a comment below.

The statement alone that retail is getting a better deal than ever before is such a dishonest thing to spew.

These institutions have been taking retail’s money, using it against them, all while taking no accountability for their actions.

It’s not clear yet whether the SEC PFOF ban will go through or not.

It is certainly something worth discussing though, don’t you think?

Leave your thoughts below.

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