How the markets have become cleaner over time, My confessions of Stealing order flow
Before the advent of online trading the markets were very opaque: very few people now know anything about order flow, back then even fewer did. Practically no one, including people who took companies public, knew how the mechanics of the market actually worked. For pirates of the over the counter and small-cap markets, it was heaven.
This gave rise to opportunity.
If you had a company you took public and you were the financier you had a large position. In order to sell or dispose of that position, you need to create a market to sell it into. This is where the Stock promoter came into play. He was hired by the inside shareholders to bring in buyers. He is given a position of say 5 million shares to use as he desires to create a market for the insiders, to say, sell 40-50 million shares.The promoter will start his campaign using all known methods of advertising to bring in buyers. When those buyers come in, their orders go to large market makers. If the large market makers do not know where to find a size seller they will move their bids up. We relied on the fact that 90% of promoters do not know how to trade or are too cheap to hire a specialist like me to manage the market. This is how we did it.
We identify deals with weak promoters and hunt their order flow. So if their stock is 1.00x 1.05 (bidxoffer) and a size buyer comes in, NITE the market maker would go bid 1.02. We would see that, call him and say “Oh we have an interest what you got?” “ I can pay the bid for 100k” he would reply. Sold!
We have just shorted 100,000 shares of a stock at 1.02. Now that bid drops and NITE goes back to say 98 cents. (under the best bid of $1).
Now for the fun part.
We go and hit the bids HARD! You do this by hammering every bid on level 2(of course you tell your buddies to get out of the way first) then you slam it down. Once you break $1.00, you offer 200,000 shares at 98 cents and SHOW it, while you are hitting the bids. This scares the heck out of everyone, buyers scatter like pigeons, you take the stock down to close to 50 to 60 cents. You now call around looking for stock. “I can pay the bid for 150,000 shares” The promoter will find out because you want him to. You have a market maker who is on neutral grounds call the promoters brokerage firm and show the bid; he will sell. He has too. He has gotten the stock for free and spent money to bring in buying. HE MUST SELL. You cover your short, a quick 50G booked and on to the next pillage! All before lunch.
JJ (@vwaptrader1) is the head educator and trader at highly popular Microefutures.com