Wed. Feb 8th, 2023

Shares of buying and selling system Robinhood (HOOD) have plummeted approximately 35% so significantly this yr, getting a 5% tumble past Friday by itself after Goldman Sachs issued a Sell rating and elevated issues about gentle consumer progress.

The firm’s profits prospective buyers could dim additional if the Securities and Exchange Commission banned the controversial practice of payment for buy stream, David Coach, the CEO of expenditure exploration business New Constructs, informed Forbes.

High-profile proponents of regulating the follow abound, including finest-promoting writer Michael Lewis.

In a new interview, Lewis explained the SEC really should make a “large transform” on payment for order stream. Lewis, whose landmark 2014 book “Flash Boys” drew interest to the rewarding use of substantial frequency investing on Wall Avenue, reported that brokers who use payment for purchase stream are “skimming hire” and “getting wealthy.”

When accepting payment for order stream, brokers settle for smaller cost enhancement for trades in exchange for increased payments from the marketplace makers that satisfy the trades — a observe that can total to a small surcharge for traders, correctly nullifying the commission-no cost trading promised by some brokers.

“It is really really true that it is cheaper to trade in the inventory current market now than it was a very long time back, when you paid a broker a absurd commission to execute your trade,” Lewis says.

To be guaranteed, Robinhood is rarely the only broker that accepts payment for buy move. E-Trade, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab (SCHW) are among these that deploy the apply.

“But it truly is also truly true that those people pennies are pointless, and that when you incorporate them up throughout the whole market place, it is billions of pounds, and you have persons finding rich in this way,” he provides. “These are examples of accomplishment to the relaxation of modern society, when truly what they are just performing is skimming hire.”

Last May perhaps, SEC Chair Gary Gensler hinted at likely new principles that would apply to Robinhood, market maker Citadel Securities, and other individuals. In convert, Gensler told Baron’s three months afterwards that a ban on payment for get flow was “on the table.”

Gensler reiterated his openness to a ban on payment for buy flow in remarks to Yahoo Finance’s Brian Cheung in Oct.

The brand of Robinhood Markets, Inc. is seen at a pop-up occasion on Wall Avenue following the firm’s IPO in New York Metropolis, U.S., July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

“Do they have the political will to shut it down?” Lewis asks. “The final two administrations — this a person and the very last one — have been poking all around at this trying to figure out what you do about payment for get move.”

Payment for buy move income for the major 4 brokerage corporations — TD Ameritrade, Robinhood, E-Trade and Charles Schwab — approximately tripled in 2020, leaping from $892 million to almost $2.5 billion, according to Info from Alphacution earlier cited by Yahoo Finance.

“I will not think any individual definitely has any illusions about particularly about what’s going on,” Lewis says.

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