The consolidated audit trail of orders placed and matched on the nation’s stock markets should cost a ‘fraction’ of what the SEC has estimated, according to a financial data expert and author speaking at TradeTech 2012 conference in New York.

Given existing computing technology, collecting the data and storing it in real time should cost roughly half what the federal regulator projected when first proposed nearly two years ago, said David Leinweber, co-founder of the Center for Innovative Financial Technology at the Computational Research Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and author of “Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets.”

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