The SEC, acting with uncharacteristic speed, has voted today to consider a ban on flash trading — a subset of high-frequency trading that has recently come in the cross-hairs of esteemed lawmakers like Sen. Chuck Schumer. But flash orders are nothing new according to Bloomberg:
Flash orders, which make up a small percentage of high- speed trading and have drawn the most criticism, trace their roots as far back as 1978 to efforts by exchanges to electronically replicate how a trader might yell an order to floor brokers before entering it into the system that displays all bids and offers.
31 years for SEC action. Not bad.