Is High-Frequency Trading the Root of our Problems? It is the Economy, Stupid!

Posted on February 21, 2013. Filed under: Conference, Debt Ceiling, Economy, Financial Crisis, Fiscal Cliff, Flash Crash, Securities and Exchange Commission | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Edgar Perez, Author, 'The Speed Traders' and 'Knightmare in Wall Street'

Edgar Perez, Author, ‘The Speed Traders’ and ‘Knightmare in Wall Street’

Beyond the memories of the recent financial crisis and doubts about the safety and fairness of the equity markets, events such as the Flash Crash of May 2010, the hugely distressing Facebook NASDAQ initial public offering and trading malfunctions at Knight Capital and Nasdaq OMX were wrongly associated with high-frequency trading (HFT) and characterized as shocks to the psyche of average investors. The around $130 billion outflows from domestic equity mutual funds in 2012 led to Joe Saluzzi, co-head of trading at Themis Trading, to say as recently as of December 2012 that “all of those events are confidence-shattering events.”

Furthermore, U.S. congressman Ed Markey tried to persuade the SEC that high-frequency trading was driving investors off the electronic trading highway completely because it was eroding confidence in U.S. markets. Congressman Markey wrote that “sophisticated trading firms can make full use of light speed HFT algorithms, while the ordinary investor day-trading his 401k remains at more terrestrial speeds. There is a real risk that algorithmic trading is making investors hesitant to re-enter the equity markets because they fear that the entire game is rigged.” Ultimately, he proposed that HFT should be curtailed immediately.

Data from Trim Tabs Investment Research appeared to support Mr. Saluzzi and Congressman Markey’s concerns. Their data show outflows from U.S. equity mutual funds in 2008 hit a record $148 billion; in 2009, confidence appeared to be stabilizing as outflows from U.S. equity mutual funds totaled just $28 billion, only to grow again in 2010 to hit $81 billion, $132 billion in 2011 and last year totaled $130 billion. So what would they say now that the Washington-based Investment Company Institute has revealed that equity mutual funds have gathered $29.9 billion in January’s first three weeks, more than for any full month since 2006? Moreover, long-term funds, which exclude money-market vehicles, attracted $64.8 billion in the first three weeks of the month. The previous record was $52.6 billion for all of May 2009.

What was the catalyst of the change in trend? Was HFT suddenly disappearing from the equity markets? As we have suspected in the past, it was the health of the economy. The dysfunctional behavior of the leadership in Washington, leading to a crisis of significant proportions in December 2012, was holding market participants from making investment decisions; when Washington still managed to temporarily solve the fiscal cliff issue, allowing the government to remove its borrowing cap and removing the terrifying prospect of sovereign default, investors rushed into stocks (and bonds too), setting the stage for the biggest month on record for deposits into U.S. mutual funds.

We are looking at forces beyond the niche of algorithmic and high-frequency trading in action here. Signs of improvement in the U.S. economy and a rising stock market (that pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 14,000 on February 1 for the first time since 2007) are now prompting Americans to step up their investments. Hiring climbed in January as well, providing further evidence that the U.S. labor market is making progress. As the economy overall makes progress, inflows will increase as more and more households and companies start to invest in the financial markets, creating a net impact in the real economy, and further reinforcing the performance of the markets. Once again, the phrase “it is the economy, stupid!” remains as valid as ever.

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高频交易是否问题的根源?

Posted on February 6, 2013. Filed under: Debt Ceiling, Economy, Financial Crisis, Fiscal Cliff, Securities, Securities and Exchange Commission | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Speed Traders: An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World

“高频交易”(High-frequency Trade),是指大型投资机构利用自己的高速计算机,在极短时间内判断出有价值的信息,从而先于市场的其他投资者进行交易,这种交易的特点是大量不停地买卖。

文/新浪财经北美特约撰稿人埃德加-佩雷兹[微博]

2010年5月的“闪电崩盘”及Facebook在骑士资本和纳斯达克的IPO交易故障等事件,都被错误地与高频交易联系到一起,被描绘为对普通投资者造成灵魂冲击。但真正原因是经济健康问题。It is the economy, stupid。这个短语仍旧有效。

除了与最近一次金融危机有关的记忆以及有关股票市场安全性和公平性的疑问以外,2010年5月份的“闪电崩盘”及Facebook在骑士资本和纳斯达克市场上令人感到非常沮丧的IPO(首次公开招股)交易故障等事件都被错误地与高频交易联系到一起,被描绘为对普通投资者造成了灵魂冲击。

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High-Frequency Strategists and Quants on Red Alert: The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 in Chicago

Posted on October 2, 2012. Filed under: Conference, Event Announcements, Practitioners, Strategies, Technology, Workshop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Speed Traders Workshop 2012, How High Frequency Traders Leverage Profitable Strategies to Find Alpha in Equities, Options, Futures and FXIt took some time, but finally it is now a reality. The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 Chicago, October 9, will finally open the door to the secretive world of high-frequency trading, the most controversial form of investing today; in the name of protecting the algorithms traders and quants had spent so much time perfecting, they almost never talked to the press and disclosed as little as possible about how they operate.

The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 Chicago promises to reveal how high-frequency trading players are succeeding in the global markets and driving the development of algorithmic trading at breakneck speeds from the U.S. and Europe to India, Singapore and Brazil. The Flash Crash, the suspended BATS IPO, the botched Facebook IPO and Knight Capital’s trading malfunction  are just a few of the events in the history of high-frequency trading that will be dissected at The Speed Traders Workshop 2012.

Who should attend? Anybody involved with Algorithmic Trading, Automated Trading, Commodities, Commodities Trading, Credit Derivatives, Dark Pools Trading, Data Monitoring / Analysis, DMA Analysts, Derivatives Trading, Electronic Execution, Electronic Trading, Equity Trading, Exchange-Traded Instruments, Family Offices, Financial Engineering, Fixed Income / Currencies Trading, Futures, Hedge Funds Traders and Managers, High-Frequency Trading, Information Technology, Institutional Investors, Investment Banking, Market Makers, Operations, Options, Over-the-counter Derivatives, Portfolio Management, Proprietary Trading, Quantitative Trading, Regulatory Entities, Risk Management, Analysis and Control, Statistical Arbitrage, Structured Products Hedging and Trading Technology.

After Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Warsaw, Kiev, Beijing and Shanghai, Chicago finally has the opportunity to experience first-hand The Speed Traders Workshop 2012, seminar that will satisfy both insiders and professionals who are new to the world of high-frequency trading.

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Why Should I Urgently Schedule The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 Vienna?

Posted on September 13, 2012. Filed under: Exchanges, Flash Crash, Regulations, Securities and Exchange Commission, Workshop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Speed Traders Workshop 2012, How High Frequency Traders Leverage Profitable Strategies to Find Alpha in Equities, Options, Futures and FX

ECB’s Ewald Nowotny. Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

No other than European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny called today for a regulatory ban on high-frequency trading, saying the technique of using computer algorithms to generate multiple high-speed trades had no practical value.

Reading the note from Reuters made me wonder whether Mr. Nowotny had thought about the consequences of a potential ban, when the technique already has more than 50% participation of equities trading in the continent.

“With high-frequency trading there is nothing to be regulated, it is to be banned. There is no really demonstrable net advantage from this (form of trading),” he told a panel discussion at a regulatory conference.

Mr. Nowotny, who heads the Austrian National Bank, would certainly benefit from attending one of my workshops. While I only have New York, September 25, Chicago, October 9, Dubai, October 14, Jakarta, November 16, Shanghai, November 22, and London, December 12, in my calendar for the year, I am faced with the urgent need to take my slides to Austria and add some light where darkness seems to be reigning; at least, I might schedule a stop in the Kitzbühel Alps.

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The New York Times: Don’t Ban the Trades; Regulate Them in Real Time

Posted on August 6, 2012. Filed under: Exchanges, Flash Crash, Practitioners, Regulations, Securities and Exchange Commission, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The New York Times: Don’t Ban the Trades; Regulate Them in Real TimeIn my latest piece in The New York Times, I argue that wrongdoing existed long before the advent of high-frequency trading, and it will always be a part of markets. High-frequency trading is simply a tool; it can be positive or negative for investors and markets. To maximize the benefit and minimize the downsides, regulators need to catch up with the technology.

High-frequency trading has been under a microscope since the infamous “flash crash” in 2010. Let’s remember, though: The market rebounded that day almost as fast as it fell, and regulators ultimately determined that the crash was initiated by human error. But many in the financial sector and in government were uncomfortable at the thought that high-frequency trading programs could vaporize huge amounts of equity in a matter of minutes.

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