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The book DarkPools does a decent job of describing the rise of machine based trading that eventually replaced pit traders.

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Pools-Machine-Traders-Rigging/dp/...

Good riddance, the markets are better off in almost every way but removing pit traders.

  - end of day's reconcile, 

  -machines aren't tempted to "lose" trade tickets for trades that would have been loses.  

  - machines don't hold clients trades while they jump infront of them.

  - liquidity is much, much better off now.   Every flash crash has an almost instantaneous rebound of prices back to their "true" values.

To paraphrase Churchill. "“Computerized trade matching is the worst form of trading, except for all the others.”

To the city of Chicago's credit. Even thought they lost pit trading for futures and almost all options, they've still managed to keep the bulk of those trades via the electronic CBOE and being the center of HFT.

I would guess that when an industry gets as disrupted as pit trading was, then the center of gravity would tend to move. In this case, Chicago did well to hang onto it.




> I would guess that when an industry gets as disrupted as pit trading was, then the center of gravity would tend to move. In this case, Chicago did well to hang onto it.

Absolutely. At the beginning of 1997, the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE) had 65% of the market for trading German Government Bond futures (known in the market at Bunds), its most-traded product. Eurex (the German futures exchange in Frankfurt) had the other 35% of the market. Throughout 1997, Eurex slowly grew its market share by slashing trading fees and extending access to its electronic platform to clients in the US and London. By contrast, LIFFE was slow to embrace technology, preferring to rely on the traditional, open outcry trading floor model. However, in January 1998, for the first time, Eurex captured a larger share of the Bund market than LIFFE. This marked a tipping point and by the end of 1998, virtually all Bund trading had shifted to Eurex (and stayed there).

Coincidentally, the Streetwise Professor himself wrote a paper on the topic: http://www.bauer.uh.edu/spirrong/dtbtip2.pdf


> machines don't hold clients trades while they jump infront of them.

Does machine trading actually bring anything with it that discourages that? I would think that it would make it easier to do that as a defacto business model.


Yes - if you put multiple queues into your software, that's pretty easy to spot and prove in court. It's a bit harder to prove if the queue lives in your broker's head.


No, it just looks different now. (It looks like spending crazy amounts of money on a wired connection to be 4ms ahead of the other guy.)


Well, it's illegal, and presumably it's harder to cover up a machine doing it (since it's in the source code) than a human who could just deny doing anything wrong.


Immutable activity logging.


> the markets are better off in almost every way

In which ways are they not better off?




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