Rolling stone has a really (really) long, but interesting comparison of recent wall street moves to real world cons and schemes pulled in movies like Goodfellas and The Sting. Some of the connections are a stretch, but most range between clear cut copies and eerily similar set-ups.
I definitely agree that Flash Trading is inherently unfair. The article also makes me doubt about the AIG bailout, the quick conversions to bank holding companies for Goldman and JP Morgan, and wall street’s involvement in advising policy decisions (especially the ones that resulted in JP Morgan’s two sweetheart acquisitions, heavily financed by the government). If I was handicapping future scandals, I’d bet on something fishy coming from the JP Morgan acquisitions.
My question is that if these firms are ripping off institutional investors so badly, and in such illicit ways, why don’t they take action? They should have no incentive to play a fixed game, and should be smart enough to know when they are getting played.