Before Charlie Enright and Mark Towill could sail through the Southern Ocean’s gales in the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, they needed help from a Disney movie, a Turkish medical devices company and a business plan.
Tie down a hungry dog and start jabbing it with a stick and you get a sense of what went down on CNBC yesterday afternoon when Bats Exchange President Bill O’Brien faced off with Brad Katsuyama and Michael Lewis over high-frequency trading. O’Brien, apparently operating on the notion that the best defense is a good offense, verbally lunged at Katsuyama at the first moment, accusing the chief executive officer of IEX Group of “trying to build a business on the planks of fear, mistrust and accusation,” telling both of them they should be ashamed, as if they were in a conspiracy of some kind -- and then it got uglier. He hectored, he badgered, he sulked, interrupted and ridiculed. There were insinuations that Lewis had money in IEX, which Lewis denied. (For the record, Lewis is an occasional columnist for Bloomberg, although no one’s really sure what he looks like.) If electronic exchanges