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January 1, 2013 10:54 pm
From Mr Joe Benning.
Sir, Larry Harris, a finance professor, argues that exchanges should delay the processing of trades in order to reduce the incentives for high-frequency traders to upgrade their systems for competitive advantage (“Stop the high-frequency trader arms race”, December 27). What a swell idea. But why stop there?
Let’s pass a great national law to limit the speed of computer chips so that we don’t have to worry about competition there either. And while we are at it, what’s so great about instantaneous communication using mobile phones? If waiting for the operator to place a long-distance call while sitting by a rotary phone was good enough for my grandmother, it’s good enough for me. Same for email versus snail mail. And we would save the jobs of countless operators, pencil-makers and letter-carriers. Come to think of it, Frédéric Bastiat had an excellent point when he suggested a law requiring people to use shades during the day to protect candlemakers from the unfair competition of the sun.
Joe Benning, Summit, NJ, US
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