Competitive talk surrounds the announcement of a new U.S. exchange.

"We welcome competition to our transparent, highly regulated equity markets. However, with more than 40 equity trading venues already in operation in the United States, we are keen to learn more about the value proposition of a new exchange." That’s a quote from the Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. in commenting on the announcement of MEMX, a new consortium-based exchange whose founding owner-members include BofA, Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, Citadel Securities, E*TRADE, Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, TD Ameritrade, UBS and Virtu Financial. We were also amused by the following launch statement made by Virtu’s CEO Doublas Cifu, who said, “The founding members of MEMX represent leading retail brokers, global banks and financial service firms, and market makers – a diverse array of market participants organizing for the common goal of improving markets for retail and institutional investors.” It was a nice touch for Cifu to feature retail investors so prominently in his quote, but it’s laughable to assume that Virtu and the other participants behind the MEMX are driven by their desire to better serve the little guy.

This article was published as part of Weekly Briefing No. 156