Current research shows that fragmentation and fast trading increase liquidity and price efficiency. However, the speed makes the markets opaque, and long-term investors feel exploited by the fast traders. Furthermore, many investors fear that the complexity of modern financial markets have made them less reliable and less sustainable. Michal Dzielinski, Björn Hagströmer and Lars Nordén (all at SBS) study how the trading costs of slow investors have developed in the presence of fast trading and fragmented markets during 2010-2014.

On the fore-front of the technological development in financial markets are the high-frequency traders (HFTs). Except for the mere speed of operation, are these traders any different from traditional short-term investors? Together with Matthew Baron (Cornell University), Jonathan Brogaard (Washington University), and Andrei Kirilenko (Imperial College), Björn Hagströmer (SBS) studies the industrial organization of HFTs, the nature of competition, and the sources of trading revenues.

Circuit breaker is a mandated trading halt that is triggered when large price movements of single securities or market-wide indices occur, such as the Flash Crash. In modern financial markets, the circuit breaker is one of the most widely used means of market regulation to handle such price movement. Caihong Xu, Xiaoxia Ye and Lu Zhao (all from SBS) are currently working on a research project aiming to show how the circuit breaker design can have different effects on market turbulence in different financial markets.