On Monday, the financial Twittersphere had one question on its mind: Is the stock market rigged?
The prevailing response: Duh, of course it is.
The buzz followed an interview with author Michael Lewis on Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” in which he claimed high-frequency trading was harmful to everyday investors. Lewis is promoting his new book, “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt.”
In response to Lewis’ claims, Josh Brown offered a history lesson on his Reformed Broker blog on Sunday, harking back 200 years to when a group of merchants conspired under a buttonwood tree to shut their competitors out of the securities market.
“The stock market hasn’t become rigged, IT STARTED OUT RIGGED,” he wrote. “Get over it.”
But commentators’ acceptance didn’t mean they were happy about it. Tweeted Douglas Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management: “Michael Lewis on Sixty Minutes repeating my oft mentioned refrain: Kill The Quants Before They Kill Us.”
On March 19, stocks fell as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the Fed could start raising the benchmark interest rate above zero about six months after ending its bond buying program. She softened her comments in a speech a few weeks later, saying the economy would need Fed stimulus for “some time.”
Meanwhile, economist Nouriel Roubini railed against bitcoin, LPL Chief Market Strategist Jeffrey Kleintop showed how to spot a currency bubble, and the Onion cheekily predicted that baby boomers would save the economy — by dying.
On General Economic Topics:
Report: Burying, Cremating Baby Boomers To Generate $200 Trillion In GDP http://t.co/xzSzYWgtkO
— The Onion (@TheOnion) March 6, 2014
So Bitcoin isn’t a currency. It is btw a Ponzi game and a conduit for criminal/illegal activities. And it isn’t safe given hacking of it.
— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) March 9, 2014
A foolish diversification is the hobgoblin of small investors. #InvestmentInsight
— Direxion Alts (@DirexionAlts) March 14, 2014
— George Papadopoulos (@feeonlyplanner) March 20, 2014
The Alternative Money Bubble Peak Indicator: the ATM. => pic.twitter.com/9QNKP8tWHP