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High-frequency traders - presumed by many to be the villains of the 2010 Flash Crash - found some redemption at a recent conference on financial regulation. One scholar said the algorithm-driven activity actually benefits markets in multiple ways. An economist for a regulatory agency all but absolved high-frequency traders of blame. In a paper presented at the Conference on Current Topics in Financial Regulation, June 1-2, 2011, at the University of Notre Dame, Gideon Saar, associate professor of finance at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management, argues that, among other benefits, high-frequency trading improves liquidity and makes markets less volatile, even during turbulent periods.
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