BUSINESS

Michael Lewis On '60 Minutes' Says Stock Market Is Rigged

Mar 30, 2014 | Updated Mar 31, 2014

The U.S. stock market is rigged, with elite traders buying access to a high-speed network that allows them to figure out what you've just ordered, order it first, then raise the price before your order is complete.

And according to Michael Lewis, author of a new book about high-frequency trading called "Flash Boys," this form of "front running" is completely legal.

"The insiders are able to move faster than you," Lewis said on "60 Minutes" on Sunday night. "They're able to see your order and play it against other orders in ways that you don't understand. They're able to front run your order."

The advantage adds up to less than a second -- in some cases a fraction of a millisecond -- but thanks to the powerful computers masterminding the trades, it's enough time to make serious money.

"One hedge fund manager said, 'I was running a hedge fund that was $9 billion and that we figured that the, just our inability to, to make the trades the market said we should be able to make was costing us $300 million a year.' That was $300 million a year in someone else's pocket," Lewis said.

Watch the full "60 Minutes" segment above for more on the story, and to learn about one Canadian trader's groundbreaking idea that he says completely eliminates the practice.

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