‘Payment for order flow’ to draw scrutiny


Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Source: The New York Stock Exchange

With attention focused on Robinhood, GameStop and retail traders at Thursday’s congressional hearings, trading volumes are very much in focus, as is the practice of “payment for order flow.”

Talk about a comeback story.

A year ago, retail traders were a declining part of the trading world. Then Covid hit.

Millions stayed home and got stimulus checks. They went online. With sports largely shuttered, many looked at retail stock trading for the first time. 

In December 2019, retail trades averaged 13% of total trading share volume, according to data from Piper Sandler. By the end of December 2020, that…


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