LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD ~ BRAD KATSUYAMA #GiraffeHeroes #StickYourNeckOut When you blow the whistle on your own profession, bad things may happen. Canadian Brad Katsuyama blew the whistle on not only his fellow financial traders, but also on the entire system of buying and selling stocks. Katsuyama worked on Wall Street for the Royal Bank of Canada, trading stocks and eventually running the bank's equity-trading group. But he was seeing something that troubled him: When anyone on his team placed a large stock order, it wouldn’t be completely filled right away; when it was filled, he’d have to pay a higher price than he had been offered moments before. Katsuyama knew that this wasn’t fair to investors, but a great deal of money was being made by the traders who had rigged the system. The safest thing to do would be to just keep quiet about what he’d discovered. The profitable thing would be to get in on the system and join them in ripping off investors. Or he could stand up for what he knew was right. He told his wife: “It feels like I’m an expert in something that badly needs to be changed. I think there’s only a few people in the world who can do anything about this.” So Katsuyama blew the whistle, making sure people knew about the rigging of the current system. Then he set about devising a new one that would treat everyone fairly. He gave up his high-paying job, pooled his savings with a colleague who had joined him, and started a new stock trading system, the IEX Exchange. IEX guarantees that all orders arrive at all the exchanges at the same time; the high-speed operators cannot get that millisecond advantage they’ve been using to make vast fortunes. “Changing the way the market operates is better for everyone,” says Brad Katsuyama.