Wrongdoing existed long before the advent of high-frequency trading, and it will always be a part of markets. High-frequency trading is simply a tool; it can be positive or negative for investors and markets. To maximize the benefit and minimize the downsides, regulators need to catch up with the technology.
High-frequency trading has been under a microscope since the infamous “flash crash” in 2010. Let’s remember, though: The market rebounded that day almost as fast as it fell, and regulators ultimately determined that the crash was initiated by human error. But many in the financial sector and in government were uncomfortable at the thought that high-frequency trading programs could vaporize huge amounts of equity in a matter of minutes.