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Two clean retail brokers. But only two.

There are only two clean retail brokers. They are Interactive Brokers and TradeStation. They’re the only two that will, if you ask, route your orders to IEX, the new exchange that doesn’t kick back money for order flow. This morning I spoke with IEX. They said they’re negotiating with other brokers, including Fidelity and Schwab — a story I’ve heard for weeks. But so far nothing. Which, to me, is amazing, since both firms claims to execute their customers’ trades in an honest fashion — but clearly don’t. And Charles Schwab has ranted publicly about the dishonesty of retail brokerage. Here’s the New York Times:

WASHINGTON – TD Ameritrade, a brokerage firm that handles vast numbers of stock trades for average investors, promises to execute those orders on the best possible terms.

But in practice, TD Ameritrade routes a large number of the customer orders to the exchanges that pay it the most, Steven Quirk, an executive at the firm, said at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

Mr. Quirk was one of several witnesses called before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to discuss potential conflicts of interest in today’s highly fragmented market where upstarts like high-frequency trading firms have been blamed for distorting prices and taking advantage of small investors. Lawmakers zeroed in on payments that brokerage firms like TD Ameritrade accept for routing customer orders to particular exchanges or trading firms.

For the full article, click here.

Oil is spiking as parts of the middle east descend into chaos and war. Latest news:

+ From this morning’s New York Times:

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s biggest oil refinery fell to Islamic extremists Wednesday morning, after army helicopter gunships failed to beat back an attack on the facility 130 miles north of Baghdad, according to refinery workers, eyewitnesses and an Iraqi army officer who fled the scene.

The facility at Baiji is the first operating refinery to fall to the fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, who have swept through much of northern Iraq and had surrounded the refinery in Baiji for the past week, battling with a battalion of the Iraqi Army that had been backed up by air support. The capture of the refinery would provide a potentially rich source of income for ISIS, which already profits from its control of oil resources in eastern Syria.

For the full piece, click here.

+ From The Economist:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria. Two Arab countries fall apart.
An extreme Islamist group that seeks to create a caliphate and spread jihad across the world has made dramatic advances on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border.

ISIS doesn’t like cigarettes. Here they are burning them in a place called Raqqa, which used to be in Syria.


For the full piece, click here.

+ From the New Yorker:

JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING (The Borowitz Report)—Former Vice-President Dick Cheney broke his silence about the crisis in Iraq on Tuesday, telling reporters, “My thoughts and prayers are with the Iraqi oil wells.”


Speaking from his Wyoming ranch, Cheney said that he had planned to remain quiet about the current state of affairs in Iraq, but “thinking about those oil wells has kept me up at night.”

“If Dick Cheney won’t speak for the Iraqi oil wells, who will?” he said.

Cheney indicated that, as of now, there was no fighting near Iraq’s oil wells, but warned, “If the violence spreads, those wells could be in jeopardy. And it’s up to the international community to insure that that worst-case scenario doesn’t happen.”

The former Vice-President said that he expected to “catch hell” for inserting himself into the debate about Iraq, but was resolute in his decision to do so. “If I prevent one drop of precious oil from being spilled, it will have been worth it,” he said.

Favorite recent New Yorker cartoons:




Harry Newton who is still processing the list of 67 Birthday Present recommendations his kind readers sent. This is hard work. I’m now trying for tomorrow.


  1. Steve says:

    I wish I would have bought some Glog that a reader recommended when you were asking for birthday presents.