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Nasdaq against the world

June 7, 2012: 12:58 PM ET

Happier times before the Facebook IPO

Nasdaq's CEO Bob Greifeld doesn't have too many friends in the financial industry these days.

Greifeld nonetheless appeared ebullient as he bounded onto the stage at the Sandler O'Neill + Partners Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference in New York Thursday morning.

Greifeld's presentation followed a panel where the CEOs of two competing exchanges BATS Europe and Direct Edge decried Nasdaq's (NDAQ) plan, or "scheme" as they each called it, to spend $40 million to compensate trading firms for losses suffered because of problems with Facebook's initial public offering.

Direct Edge's CEO William O'Brien called it "illegal" and said that Nasdaq must return to the drawing board.

Knight Capital (KCG) CEO Tom Joyce said his firm and others would use "all avenues" to pursue appropriate compensation from Nasdaq when asked whether litigation might be a possibility.

"Nasdaq made the decision that created this problem and that the industry suffered through, and Nasdaq must create a solution to the problem. This is not the solution," said Joyce in his presentation.

Knight Capital has pegged its Facebook (FB) related losses as between $30 million and $35 million. In his presentation, Joyce estimated that total losses among all broker-dealers are probably closer to $200 million.

Not wanting to be outdone, trading execution broker ITG's (ITG) CEO Bob Gasser called Nasdaq's response to Facebook "an unmitigated disaster."

Despite the increasingly heated rhetoric, Greifeld didn't appear to veer from his script during his presentation. He reiterated Nasdaq's plan to compensate investors but said his company is now waiting for SEC approval.

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Maureen Farrell
Maureen Farrell
Staff writer, CNNMoney

Maureen Farrell is a staff writer at CNNMoney and covers Wall Street, banking, mergers and the stock and bond markets. Prior to joining CNNMoney, she covered venture capital and entrepreneurs for Forbes, and mergers and bankruptcy for Mergermarket and Debtwire, both divisions of the Financial Times.

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