Barron’s Bill Alpert: There’s a Wealth Transfer from Wall Street to the Little Guy

by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall Street on Parade

There are theories floating around Wall Street that Barron’s Senior Editor and award-winning investigative reporter with a law degree from Columbia, Bill Alpert, has been kidnapped by evil forces on Wall Street and replaced with a look-alike. How else to explain this wacky story under his byline on February 28.

Alpert’s article was quickly discredited by Eric Hunsader of Nanex in an article titled “Robber Barrons.” (We don’t think Hunsader meant to say “Barons” either.) Themis Trading, whose owners literally wrote the book on Broken Markets, weighed in with a detailed debunking.

Alpert’s article starts out with this subhead: “Small investors actually get good prices from brokers and market makers.” It then moves to debunk the Michael Lewis book Flash Boys, which is effectively debunking 60 Minutes as well, since it vetted and aired the same material. Alpert writes:

“In the furor surrounding last year’s best-seller Flash Boys, by Michael Lewis, many retail investors were spooked by the book’s claim that high-frequency traders use their technology edge to pick off the little guys, who, the author claims, were ‘easy kill’ for the professionals. That part of the story was just wrong.”

The above statement from Alpert would mean that not only did Michael Lewis and 60 Minutes get it wrong, but when Senator Elizabeth Warren stated the following in a Senate hearing on June 18, 2014, she was dead wrong as well. (This hearing, by the way, was effectively censored by the corporate business media.)

Warren: “High frequency trading reminds me a little of the scam in Office Space. You know, you take just a little bit of money from every trade in the hope that no one will complain. But taking a little bit of money from zillions of trades adds up to billions of dollars in profits for these high frequency traders and billions of dollars in losses for our retirement funds and our mutual funds and everybody else in the market place. It also means a tilt in the playing field for those who don’t have the information or have the access to the speed or big enough to play in this game.”

Alpert’s article would also mean that the former prosecutors from the U.S. Justice Department who form the legal powerhouse known as Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, whose bread and butter is securities fraud, don’t know what they’re talking about either. Robbins Geller has filed a lawsuit in the matter and references pages from Flash Boys in their complaint:

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