Sandler O'Neill is holding its annual "Exchange and Brokerage Conference" today and tomorrow. All the CEOs from all the major exchanges and discount brokerages are in New York for the two-day event.
The hot topics:
1) Market structure and the fallout from Michael Lewis' "Flash Boys" book: Are the markets too complicated...do we need 13 exchanges and 45 dark pools? Do high frequency traders really add liquidity? What about payment for order flow?
2) What is going on with trading? A great silence has descended on the markets—low volume, low volatility, low interest rates, low intraday trading ranges. And yet, volatility has fallen even as stocks hit new highs! Have investors become too complacent, failing to price in macro risk? How can the market gurus explain this? The Fed's William Dudley has said he is nervous that people are taking bigger risks because the volatility is so low. Is the Fed's low interest rate policy to blame?
One thing is for sure: This type of trading activity is killing the trading business! After starting off well in Q1, trading volumes have dropped notably in the past six weeks.
I will be in meetings all day with all the major players. Look for more on my Twitter feed,
@BobPisani, and for more on "Trader Talk."
I will be live at 1:15 p.m. ET with Rich Repetto, Sandler O'Neill, conference organizer, the No. 1 analyst on exchanges and brokerage firms.
Live between 2:30 and 3:00 on "Street Signs" with Convergex CEO Eric Noll.
Live at 3:20 on "Closing Bell" with Howard Lutnick, CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners.
I will be live tomorrow again with ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher on "Squawk on the Street" at 9:40 a.m. ET, and will be reporting on Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White's keynote address to attendees at 12:30 p.m.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani