Today, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairperson Mary Jo White announced a whole slew of initiatives designed to tighten the leash on computerized high speed trading in the stock market. If you're playing the stock market and you're not a supercomputer, that's very good news.
What an awesome way to end a book: literally in the last paragraph, Michael Lewis's excellent Flash Boys drops a weird infrastructural mystery—and this gives away no spoilers—right when you were ready to turn out the light and go to sleep. But there, in the final six sentences, Lewis lights a fire.
The Nasdaq stock market shut down trading today following a technical problem. The exact nature of the problem isn't known. Given the huge percentage of automated high-frequency trading that happens a technical glitch can be a huge problem.
When the world's financial giants begin creating vast artificial islands in the middle of the oceans to use as the hubs of stock-trading, it'll all be because of the speed of light.
A lot of the biggest stock moves of the global economy are made by a bunch of dudes yelling at each other in a huge room, right? Wrong. Computers are in charge, battling for the speediest connections. Fastest gets richest.