By Scott Patterson
A news-breaking account of the worldwide inventory market's subterranean battles, darkish swimming pools portrays the increase of the "bots"--artificially clever platforms that execute trades in milliseconds and use the canopy of darkness to out-maneuver the people who have created them.
In the start was once Josh Levine, an idealistic programming genius who dreamed of wresting keep watch over of the industry from the large exchanges that, time and again, gave the large associations a bonus over the little man. Levine created a automatic buying and selling hub named Island the place small investors swapped shares, and through the years his invention morphed right into a international digital inventory industry that despatched trillions in capital via an enormous jungle of fiber-optic cables.
By then, the marketplace that Levine had sought to mend had grew to become the other way up, birthing secretive exchanges known as darkish swimming pools and a brand new species of buying and selling machines which can imagine, and that appeared, ominously, to be slipping the regulate in their human masters.
Dark swimming pools is the interesting tale of ways worldwide markets were hijacked by way of buying and selling robots--many so self-directed that people cannot are expecting what they're going to do subsequent.
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Additional resources for Dark Pools: The Rise of the Machine Traders and the Rigging of the U.S. Stock Market
It was almost as if the auto-hedger had pushed the market back up with its orders. It was spooky. Bodek racked his brain. Why wouldn’t the auto-hedger buy into a declining market? It made no sense. The firm’s small group of human traders swung into action, scrambling to send in buy orders manually, bypassing the Machine. 05. Suddenly, a wave of orders from the Machine’s auto-hedger flowed in—at the worst moment, after the bounce. The Machine bought thousands of shares, moving aggressively, at the same time paying high fees charged by the exchanges.
When Hull hired Bodek in 1997, the stock market was largely divided into two parts: the New York Stock Exchange, where traders swapped big, blue-chip stocks such as IBM and General Electric through registered brokers and “specialists” on the iconic floor of the exchange; and the Nasdaq Stock Market, where roughly five hundred market makers competed to buy and sell stocks, often hotdog tech names such as Intel, Cisco, and Apple, on behalf of clients. NYSE trading was conducted on the floor of the Big Board at 11 Wall Street, where participants swapped information through wild hand signals and shouted orders; Nasdaq market makers largely operated over the phone.
But he couldn’t do much more, and he needed everyone to pitch in if the firm was going to right itself. “I know it looks bad, but we can turn it around, I know it,” Bodek said. “We can do it! Today we’re going to fucking kill it, OK! ” Everyone turned to his set of screens and started working. Right as the market opened, Trading Machines got whacked. For months it had been the same. Death by a thousand cuts. Sheer torture. As the nicks and cuts mounted, TW watched in frustration, obsessively clicking a pen, sighing, letting out brief bursts of anger, muttering curses under his breath.