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Comment: Re:HFT = a cost to society (Score 2) 342

by tobe (#46684817) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

It really is since they're potentially inflating the prices paid for equities.. not only by the individuals but their pensions funds. HFT shops open and close with 0 positions.. they do not hold stock past the close of business. They are simply skimming cents from transactions and that's costing people real money over the lifetimes of their investments. The stock exchange has lost all sight of it's original function to raise capital for growth investment.

Comment: Put the exchanges on discrete clocks. (Score 1) 342

by tobe (#46684711) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

1 Hz should be about right, maybe 10. Bids and Offers arrive and are visible but aren't acted on until the next clock edge at which point the settlements take place and a new trade queue is started.

Should do it.. as long as the frequency is reasonably low this scheme seems to enable real-time price information to be able for all players in the market.

And ban dark pools.

Comment: Re:Like Travelling back in time (Score 1) 731

by tobe (#46218827) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

Yeah.. the debit card thing I find totally bizarre and can't understand for the life of me. Debit cards seem to be the ideal expression of card payments.. direct from your bank account. You either have the funds or you don't.. no middle man creaming interest from you consumer and charging the retailer a processing fee. And yet they're alien in the US.

If someone could explain why debit cards aren't usual in the US I'd appreciate it. Having said that.. my EU debit card seems to work just fine all over the US.

Comment: Re:Umm.. just as Europe moves beyond chip and pin. (Score 1) 731

by tobe (#46218717) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

> This is why you are disarmed,
Nope.. talk to the Swiss.

> have to register your address with the police
Nope.. unless you're a sex offender maybe.

> carry an internal passport
Nope.. especially not in the UK.

> go through extensive background checks to be allowed to open bank accounts
Not particularly.

> register your TV sets,
Nope... although you require a TV licence in the UK. From which we fund the BBC. You're welcome..

> submit to home searches by tax collectors, etc. etc.
Nope. Search warrants and the usual process of law excepted.

Comment: Umm.. just as Europe moves beyond chip and pin... (Score 4, Interesting) 731

by tobe (#46217027) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

In all the time I've spent in America I don't believe I've ever seen anyone really check the signature against the card.. always amazed me how lax and open to fraud that system was. In the UK we switched to chip and pin about 10 years ago.. and we were generally lagging the rest of the EU on that matter.

But why would the US move to chip and pin when it could leapfrog ahead to biometrics.. you're already seeing fingerprint scanners and suchlike appear in mainland Europe (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21085738) and surely enough of the initial results are in to guide the decision making there.

Comment: Re:And the torment of her family and loved ones? (Score 1) 289

by tobe (#44315819) Attached to: Gore Site Operator Arrested For Posting Video of Murder

I think you're exactly right here.. others may talk about a slippery road to restriction of free speech but I think societies are right to be more concerned about a slide into the kind of depravity that is typically portrayed as dystopian. I'm very comfortable with throwing the book at this guy and destroying the footage, just as comfortable as I would be if it were child pornography or any other non-consensual act.

I think we all instinctively know what the essence of free speech is and it isn't this. I'm absolutely sure that if the Framers could have envisaged such a situation they would have specifically put it outside the bounds of protected forms of expression.

And.. on a sidenote: You mentioned brutal executions in England. The very term 'cruel and unusual punshment' originates in the English Bill of Rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Bill_of_Rights) passed in 1689. We've only hung people since then (although there was an unfortunate incident involving some Catholics in 1746).

Comment: Re:it's too fast (Score 2) 500

by tobe (#41301941) Attached to: More Warnings About High-Frequency Trading

"as you can trade against participants who entered order early in the period and couldn't incorporate informations from the remaining time into they pricing decision"

But with a heartbeat you wouldn't see the early order until the quantum elapsed. All orders would appear to have been placed on the period

"First: no ones pensions are changing in value because HFT."

Odd this then:
http://www.professionalpensions.com/professional-pensions/news/2169298/frequency-trading-hitting-scheme-funds-railways-pension-chief

Comment: Re:it's too fast (Score 5, Insightful) 500

by tobe (#41298857) Attached to: More Warnings About High-Frequency Trading

"the solution is easy: queue all trades on a heart beat"

That's exactly the conclusion I came to after a recent tour of a bunch of HFT shops here in London.

Right now the fastest responder wins. This leads to co-location (putting your hardware physically in the exchange) and something called Flash Trading where, for a fee, you get access to bids fractions of a seconds before they enter the market.

This clearly isn't a fair, transparent market.

Put a heartbeat, 1ms or even as high as 5s, on the market. Market state only updates, in it's entirety, on that edge. And get rid of Flash Trading. That stuff is clearly not fair or even ethical.

The smooths out the unequal access to the best prices that currently exist for those that can afford it and even gives the algo shops time to more sophisticated analytics.

It's pretty shocking that, contrary to what you might think, the models that are driving the algorithms are pretty-simple minded and stuffed full of magic numbers. A senior guy at UBS admitted to me that there's absolutely no science involved in their construction. Verification is done on a monte-carlo type simulation with historical data and the model must continually be updated as trading conditions change. The quants are generally just looking for a new set of magic numbers that make the simulations profitable. Literally no-one understands how the models work and they bear absolutely no relation to the kind of 'Frost in Florida, Orange Juice futures up' kind of market conditions the man in the street might expect.

It's kind of frightening really that our pensions are changing in value based on the execution of these algorithms

Comment: Re:This bill is so wrong. (Score 2, Informative) 2044

by tobe (#31539818) Attached to: Health Care Reform
"We supposedly pay 17% now, and we live longer lives, have better medical care, and are generally heather than our contemporaries in other countries" Except you're not and you're just making shit up: The US is 38th in life expectancy. Even Cuba does better than the States. Almost every other 'European' nation (plus Japan) does better : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy Your infant mortality is higher also and you're *much* more likely to die before you're 60. http://www.who.int/countries/usa/en/ vs http://www.who.int/countries/gbr/en/ And to get that inferior level of healthcare you spend about 3x per capita as a comparable European nation. Good job.

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