Last week, a firestorm hit the markets.
In a shocking announcement it was discovered that a "special list" of users had been paying a fee to Thomson Reuters to receive the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index figures two seconds early.
And while most market analysts were aware that there are several tiers of service available for these figures, only a select few knew a higher payment could get them the figure before it is released.
Two seconds. It may not seem like much but it's enough to trigger a massive spike in computerized transactions before the market even knows what the figure is–let alone the average investor.
So what difference does a such a brief leg up to a "special few" mean anyway?…
Quite a bit given what we know about today's computer-generated mega trading programs that make big profits on fractional changes in price.
The massive volume of these transactions destabilize trading environments, cause instantaneous volatility spikes, and drive a range of results having nothing to do with fundamentals or actual conditions.
Not to mention how it all flies in the face of the idea free exchange markets are justified on the outmoded assumption that there is equal access and availability of information.
Now there are possibly even more serious questions emerging and they involve a matter directly relevant to you.
We are learning the same manipulation may be occurring in the energy sector.