This morning I walked onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for an interview on CNBC about Dark Pools. As I stood their waiting for the interview, I looked around–and was astonished. It was about 10 minutes after the opening bell, and the mood of the floor was…an eery calm. Market makers and traders were chit-chatting, laughing, standing around. It was nothing like the manic floor of old. And by old, I mean five years ago.
It’s amazing. There are only four “designated market makers” today (DMMs replaced the specialists). They are Getco, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and Knight–all expert firms in computer trading. Ten years ago, there were 35 specialist firms on the floor of the Big Board.
This is competition? This is a level playing field?
You can see my interview on CNBC right here.