Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

Category: Americas
Author: Michael Lewis
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by mariodiana   2020-05-20
HFT capitalizes on a kind of time arbitrage. They take the data from one market, and then transport that data using specialized, custom built networks that move the data from one place to another a tiny fraction of a second quicker than other networks. They then capitalize on having that data earlier to eek out small profits at scale.

Imagine two investors sitting at a restaurant table discussing trades they are about to make. The trades they are making will be significant, in the sense that their trades will then impact the value of the stocks they're trading. Meanwhile, a waiter at the restaurant makes a habit of eavesdropping on the conversations of these investors. When he gets the information, he runs to the phone and effects his own, smaller trade.

It's not that the waiter happened to overhear something. The waiter makes it his business to "overhear." The waiter adds no real value. He's a parasite on the people who do add value. The HFT traders are likewise.

What they do is documented in Michael Lewis's Flashboys.

https://www.amazon.com/Flash-Boys-Wall-Street-Revolt/dp/0393...

by GDK_ATL   2019-08-24

You might want to read this first.

by H3yFux0r   2019-08-24

https://www.amazon.com/Flash-Boys-Wall-Street-Revolt/dp/0393351599

In this book it talks about how in the early 2000s fiber cable was the fastest thing and most expensive thing anyone could possibly get so that's what the stock market used but today they don't use Fiber anymore. They use various types of microwave Wireless way faster than fiber, why? Light bouncing around inside of a cable travels a much further distance in a straight line than light transmitted between two points with line of sight.

by guiambros   2018-09-14
It means they are handing over your transaction to HFTs, who can then see your transactions ahead of everyone, and buy the stock right before and then sell to you for a higher price. Imagine you just issued a BUY order at market price; they can buy at $99.9 and sell to you for $100, making a $0.01/stock profit. Rinse and repeat millions of times per day.

This is very similar to "front running" [1], but because a) this happens privately and in small quantities, and b) it is not necessarily privileged information, it's considered legal by the SEC. But it is highly questionable for sure.

"Flash Boys", by Michael Lewis [2] is a great read, and goes into detail on the world of high frequency traders, and how they operate.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Flash-Boys-Wall-Street-Revolt/dp/0393...