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Tim Quast
Traders Magazine Online News

We're All HFTs Now

In this guest commentary, author Tim Quast looks back at the history of HFT and how the market has evolved to where many firms now fit the definition of high-frequency trader.

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June 30, 2001

The Beer That Made Portland Famous

By Staff Reports

In a possible taste - literally - of the modern securities market, a brewery in Portland, Ore., has received the green light from the SEC to trade the company's stock on its own electronic bulletin board.

The SEC approval allows the Portland Brewing Company to provide an electronic meeting place for about 5,000 investors holding shares of common stock - about 3.3 million shares of Portland - from a direct public offering. In effect, that means the bulletin board will allow buyers and sellers to post bids and offers and contact each other to complete the trade. Two-sided quotes are prohibited although Portland said that may change in the future.

Portland can't participate in the transaction, act as a market maker or receive compensation on the trades. There are no market makers and the stock is not listed on a national exchange or on Nasdaq.

Portland is not the first passive online system approved by the SEC for trading shares. Three others were approved about four years ago, but for trading shares in companies listed on an exchange.

The same technology also launched an online investment bank in 1996 founded by Andrew Klein, who raised money over the Internet for another brewery - Spring Street Brewing Company.