The industry counters by denying these facts and boldly claiming that they provide liquidity and lower costs, but it has been demonstrated that HFT is more often a liquidity taker than a liquidity provider and, if anything, raises the costs of trading.
Destroying civilization as we know it never figured into Hedgzilla and Finothra's plans. It's just that, you know, stuff happens. Did I really destroy your house with my giant tail? Golly. How about -- I know! -- a visit to the house in East Hampton for my larger-than-life friends.
What did the SEC do when it realized the danger to other investors from high-speed trading? Did it warn the American people? Order high speed trading to cease? Ban algorithms designed to cheat other investors? Absolutely not!