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A trader monitors the screen on a trading floor in London January 22, 2010.
A trader monitors the screen on a trading floor in London January 22, 2010.
(Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

To curb high-frequency trading, will investors pay a price?

Stock trades take tiny fractions of seconds, while stock trading regulations too often take years. That’s a mismatch the backers of the proposed Aequitas stock exchange want to change.

Aequitas is designed to be a “safe haven” from what its backers call predatory high-frequency trading strategies, the kinds of tricks that they say fleece long-term investors out of a penny here and a penny there. Soon it adds up to real money, as a professor at the University of California at Berkeley found when he used software to run one of those strategies. He made $377,000 in pretend profits trading shares of Apple for one day in May.