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Originally published in Queue vol. 11, no. 8
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Displaying 10 most recent comments. Read the full list here

Alex | Wed, 29 Jun 2016 14:06:14 UTC

One line of the article is confusing me: "Today it is possible to buy a custom ASIC (application- specific integrated circuit) to parse market data and send executions in 740 nanoseconds".

If the context is about HFT shops, they are clients to exchange and they are not sending executions.

If the context is Exchange, exchanges do not parse market data.

Could anyone please explain what "execution" means in this context? Does it mean NOS 35=D?

Wei Liu | Thu, 14 Nov 2013 02:05:19 UTC

I was always thinking of entering this field one day and this article successfully frighten me away - just a few days back I was in New York seeing the classic-looking buildings and thinking of working by solving programming challenges.

It feels to me that HFT is more about electronic engineering or even physics instead of computer science, as the biggest challenge is to implement the simplest algorithm as fast as possible (which usually is done with hardware).

Rodrick B. | Thu, 31 Oct 2013 17:56:04 UTC

The screen shot in P2 is from http://boundary.com/ a network monitoring tool. @JOE yes you are right many firms do use public space from ARIN instead of NAT that being said many trading firms that trade FX especially in the global markets do use NAT and VRF's extensively especially on the exchange side/(sell side) who have to deal with a large number of cross connects and client connections.

Nemo | Mon, 28 Oct 2013 13:06:38 UTC

The market servers 2 purposes: 1) it is a place for firms to raise capital through share or debt issuance. 2) It is a place that provides a place of exchange for differing views on the value of those issuances.

Firms still go public and shares are still exchanged.

Regarding social value: That is subjective. One could ask, exactly what socially redeeming value do those who receive government largesse supply? For many, the answer is also "none". Yet they do, and will continue to do so.

Harish M | Sat, 26 Oct 2013 20:11:55 UTC

@JB Poplawski - the app in figure 2 looks like it's Boundary (http://boundary.com/)

Walter Faxon | Thu, 24 Oct 2013 11:47:50 UTC

Commenter "Fred" lists some reasons why HFT is in general a very bad idea. He's hardly the first to do so. To discourage the practice, commenter "Joe Smith" suggests a 100% tax on profits on trades held less than one second. That might need a little tuning. Commenter "ivo welch" suggests batching buy/sell orders for auction once per second. That would increase fairness at least. My own idea is to delay all orders by a random few seconds. This would undermine the logic behind HFT but not effect regular investors at all.

And isn't the market supposed to facilitate "investment"?

There's big money behind HFT so I don't expect regulation anytime soon. More trading by itself improves Wall Street's bottom line. But how bad will an HFT-triggered crash have to be before we effectively outlaw it?

Joe Brunner | Wed, 23 Oct 2013 03:58:29 UTC

The NAT part is wrong - we don't use nat... we and the exchanges/dark pools/ecn's use reserved PUBLIC IP's in the facilities we manage... only requirement is the big bank gives smaller firms some non-contended ipv4 rfc 1918 space (like and allows us to source from that...

most larger firms (over 50 traders) have some public ip's we dont advertise to the internet, but own with arin...

i cant think of one trading firm doing hft that uses nat... just not a very good technology... while the newer arista and Nexus 3548's do "hardware nat" I have not had to implement it for anyone... weird...

Bruce | Tue, 22 Oct 2013 01:16:14 UTC

This money has always been taken from investors, ever since the buttonwood tree. Its just being taken by different people, enabled by technology. And they are taking less of it than ever before.

Are we going to start passing judgment now on who should make money? Tobacco, gambling, alcohol and prostitution ... Are we going to stop them?

Justin | Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:25:27 UTC

When will the third article in the series be published?

Lawrence Oswald | Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:17:59 UTC

A victory for the internet in that this is a fine article that has engendered equally fine comments. I guess I will end the streak.

So HFTs have a bit of overhead ... rent, electricity, salaries ... and beyond that this HFT business generates a lot of profit while benefiting the world not one bit. They make money but they create nothing, neither money nor goods nor services nor happiness nor love. Where does this money comes from? Some of their dollars might be mine, or yours. Or it could be from the FED and this is just a distribution system that effectively raises the velocity of money thereby increasing the GDP. That's good?

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