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BlueHorseshoe

Daytraders - Do You Know Your Enemy?

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As I said before Paul - you are taking HFT as it currently exists....post 2007.

It's what matters because that's where we are.

Even then, everything before 2007 that you 'claim' supports your view of HFT's value is pure conjecture on your part. For all you know (as you really don't have anything to prove otherwise), it might apply pre 2007 too (but post 2001). You have nothing to show that HFT has produced your claimed benefits that weren't already achieved by Decimalization and Electronic Markets.

 

Now if you have watched people who trade a lot of volume in this manner, and would be generally considered HFTs they continually need to be in front of the que.....it is part of the strategy.

While queue position and large volume are components of HFT, it is not what defines them. They are much more than that. Many people trade large volume and need to be at the front of the queue too - but that doesn't make their computers HFT. How is that focusing on the issue of fraud?

 

HFT by its very nature made the most of the tools available to it and the fact is they now dominate the market and the spreads are very tight. (But this seems to be what you are debating).

So, you really haven't understood what I'm debating then - That's a shame. Or did you just choose to avoid it and stubbornly stick to your unfounded, 'sour-grapes' soapbox instead?

 

I am not sure that some academic paper is going to convince you if the market results dont.

That must be one of the most lame excuses that I've ever heard for being unable to produce any evidence. :)

How do you know it won't convince me? Clearly, you haven't based your opinion on any proof but chosen to just accept what you want to hear without question. In fact, your comment above applies more to you as somone who remains stubborn despite research - doesn't it?

Even the one document that you did link to attributes the gains to Decimalization and the advent of Electronic markets. Like you, it then makes the mistake of merely lumping HFT into that mix without any attempt to differentiate between D&ET and HFT or provide any evidence that HFT added any benefits beyond what D&ET had already done.

 

Also, what market results? How many times are you going to make unsubstantiated claims and delude yourself that it's acceptable to just attribute them to what you 'want' it to be, before you understand that it doesn't make it so just because you claim it does?

Please think before you make such statements. It really does become tedious having to point out your same error of making unproven claims repeatedly.

 

Now yes HFT may be devouring itself, and maybe doing illegal trades as you keep insisting - best talk to the SEC, as if you like evidence, then surely they would be stopping it.

Good Grief! LOL - What this SEC?

 

The SEC Is Utterly Useless | Wall Street Oasis

 

How Not to Run an S.E.C. Investigation - NYTimes.com

 

Yeah! "Surely, they would be stopping it" ;) Your ignorance and naivety is so stunning that it really deserves another adjective unbefitting of this board :).

 

Plus these are not my definitive conclusions - you may have reached some, I am trying to better understand what happens now in HFT without the PR and sour grapes.

How are you ever going to understand it as long as you immediately dismiss everything you don't want to hear, see and read as PR and sour grapes? Ain't gonna happen.

 

Re the costs - again are you talking about HFT as they currently exist? You seem to refer to studies that come from 2007 onwards for your definitive claims. So while I accept there is a lot of sour grapes, and a lot of PR from both sides, I am not defending them as they exist but surely its not just a co-incidence that as HFT in pre and post 2007 has come to dominate the markets and do the volume, and costs have come down (check an old brokerage statement from 15 years ago).....is is this ALL because of computers and decimalization.

You're right. I am paying a lot less than I was paying 15 years ago. But why did you choose '15' years ago? Why not 10?

15 years ago was before Decimalization and Electronic trading. Change the question to 10 years ago (After D&ET but before HFT dominance) and my answer changes to 'Yes'. I am paying exactly the same now as I was then.

You seem to like comparing oranges to apples, claiming them to be the same, and then trying to claim for HFT gains that were made by D&ET. tut-tut!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul-TC »

I also accept that The Pragma Securities article 'might' be sour grapes. I really don't know that it is - but as you don't either, I'll make that issue easy for both of us and assume it is. However, it's irrelevant. Sorry, but ad hominem attacks of messengers while conspicuously avoiding the results of their discoveries never sits easy with me.

 

the results of their discoveries are what - that it costs them more money as they now have to cross the spread when previously they did not have to.

Read it again but this time, try not to cherry-pick the parts that ONLY support your unsubstantiated 'sour grapes' rant and see what else they found.

Your bias (stemming from zero evidence) seems to make you very blinkered and blind to what you don't want to see.

Hardly the trait of someone 'claiming' to want to learn more about HFT.

 

......much like your Ted Bundy comparison - this is not about guilt.

Well yes, obviously, it isn't about guilt for you ;) - but most people do care about whether 'guilt' is applicable to claims of fraud and it's a bit presumptuous of you to speak for everyone else with such a statement.

 

- unless of course such studies are saying the HFT traders are stealing our (whoops I mean your) money whereas previously we used to do it )

So, you have no problem, stating as fact, that Pragma were stealing (yet again, despite having no evidence that they ever did) but you are happy to dismiss any study that HFT might be doing the same - but by many greater magnitudes of order - just so long as you can find the slightest reason (no matter how unproven) to cry 'sour grapes' - Yes, I think I got it now.

 

The dreaded word of the truth - Sorry Paul, hard to criticise me when I never claim to state the truth,

Yes, you do seem to have an irrational fear of the truth. So much so that you do make it very easy to criticize you when you repeatedly rewrite text to what you want it to be. I see a recurring theme with you - no?.

 

You really must try a lot harder NOT to see only what you want to see.

Read it again. I asked "How does that seek to discover the truth?" - not - "How does that state the truth?

I make no apologies for seeking to discover the truth rather than avoid it if it doesn't fit what I want. I prefer to leave the habit of denial for others.

 

My point is that the focus should be on the real issues - not 'its costing me more' - but those of the risks of the current HFT. You seem to want to demonise the HFT with your own PR

You're delusional. You aren't even close to 'focusing' on the real issues at all - you are avoiding them (fraud) like the plague with only a cursory mention of them rather than a focus. You're focusing on what you want the issue to be.

You won't find a single instance of me saying that "it's costing me more" but you're happy to present that as THE issue. FWIW, I never trade Stocks, HFT doesn't affect me in the way it affects those traders. But the effect of fraud upon them affects us all. All I've concentrated on is the fraud of HFT and the lie that its apologists and supporters perpetuate about its (always unproven) value. In response, you again engage in another unfounded self-delusion.

Only in your mind is the 'cost' of it THE sole issue as you carefully avoid every shred of evidence, very widely available, that the 'cost' is only the result and may be caused by fraud on a very large scale.

 

if the issues are that the HFT are doing something illegal then its a different matter

"IF"? - Really? You are only now considering "IF" something illegal may be occurring in HFT and you only now describe it as being 'possibly' a different matter?

The very issue that I raised early this thread and which you have chosen NOT to focus on but instead chose to concentrate on groundless claims of 'sour grapes' by Pragma.

You, who continually claims to be someone who wants to learn about HFT?

How much research could you have possibly done in furthering that claimed desire for knowledge about HFT that here, in August 2012, you still have no idea 'IF' any Securities Laws are being broken by HFT ??

 

And having now been alerted, has that caused you to research it before defending or dismissing it? Hardly!

 

You then you have the audacity to debate the subject despite an admission of no research of the criticisms 'actually' being levelled - only the ones you'd like to be levelled.

 

And you're OK with that? Really? You seemed more intelligent than that.

 

I apologise, it's entirely my fault for not noticing sooner. You seem like a very nice person but such intellectual dishonesty and laziness only wastes everyone's time and I really can't see any point in discussing this with you any further.

Edited by Paul-TC

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Please dont go Paul.....

 

I could concede that you are right and that everything you say is the truth.....fine.

I sincerely apologise for ranting.....you mis-read it.

 

Lets work on that basis and start from the beginning.....as I am a little confused you seem more intent on attacking me than anything now - that's fine, it does not bother me. If we can get that over with....

 

So please correct me if I am wrong here - to help others and Blue with his thread discover the truth....

 

what is HFT....

HFT can be defined as the present ultra HFT trading that now dominates the market (we are not talking about HFT as it has exisited Lets say prior 2007 as many studies exist from there to the present). Plus no one cares about the past.

 

Pros of HFT

The markets currently trade as they do as a result purely of decimalization and electronic trading. (Even if these where in the past), an HFT have contributed nothing to this.

 

Cons of HFT

HFT as it presently stands - as it presently represents itself does not reduce spreads from the recent normal (as we have to go off some comparison) sub penny spreads. (kind of hard to reduce further, but lets go with this one, because the quotes are illusionary)

 

HFT adds to costs because....?? help me out on this one as I can only assume that its the costs of crossing larger spreads than the illusionary quotes that the HF quoters provide, and real liquidity needs to accessed in the real market....I would not want to assume incorrectly here....so I will let you answer this one.

This might be best be described as high frequency quoting, as they provide no extra liquidity

 

HFT and fraud

The HFT are committing fraud. (even though the SEC may be incompetent or corrupt)

because in most countries we are talking about here- innocent until guilt is proved by the courts or regulators and not the mob is the norm. But as I cynically mentioned - when it comes to finance and banks, thats not the case - or is this in dispute as well?

So HFT are clearly breaking exchange/SEC regulations....its just that nothing is really done about it.

 

Other market participants

All those who complain about HFT as it currently stands are not pushing their own interests at the same time but are purely interested in (what - the market interests, the best interests of the tax payer, the institutions, mums and dads....?? need help on this one)

(I also never stated as fact that any one was stealing eg; Pragma.....but my natural inclination is to look behind why someone complains about others who do similar things....do they have a legitimate interest, or is it sour grapes due to competition - again i can only bend over backwards so much and apologies if you took my ranting as such and miss read it - i am not an olympic gymnast. I used to be a market maker and know what its like to see people erode my business. But we are not talking about the past.)

 

The real issues

I am also a little confused on the issues - as I originally stated that I thought the issues for HFT was that they may be committing fraud, and there are risks to the exchanges systems, and market crashes etc - it was just that everyone else is saying HFT costs me money, and because of that they were missing the bigger issues, while pushing their own barrow.....so please just list again so we can start from the begining - the issues - the real issues.

 

The above is the truth, as you see fit, or as the rest of the world sees it....whatever. Please help us out here. I actually dont have a fear of the truth as I philosophically dont believe their is 'one single truth'

 

Paul - Unless you are slightly paranoid, conspiracy theorist, axe to grind or just a plain f...t, - (so far i have deliberately not attacked you, and I probably wont) then I dont think I can be any fairer than this.......?

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HFT and fraud

The HFT are committing fraud.

 

I am sure that there are instances where HFTs, like any other firm, commit outright fraud or clearly violate exchange rules.

 

In general though, I think this is very much shades of grey.

 

Consider a scenario twenty years ago:

 

My broker friend receives a large buy order from an institutional customer. He picks up the phone and lets me know right away, and I buy some before he begins to execute the large order. As the large order begins to move the market a few ticks, I flip these contracts/shares back to the institution, who is more than will to snap them up, leaving me with a nice little scalp.

 

This is clearly front-running, and is illegal.

 

Now consider the following scenario, probably occuring somewhere in the bowels of Aurora as I write:

 

An institution places a large buy order. Wary of HFTs and the fact that they have a lot to buy, they try to conceal what they're doing . . . They use a nifty little iceberg algorithm which slices the order up into chunks that reload following a random time lag plus some other secret criteria. Nice try!

 

Inside your liquid-nitrogen cooled colocated computers, your electronic eyes are scanning the market, picking through the data - exactly the same data that every other market participant can see. Your algorithm does a bit of number crunching, and clocks the presence of the institutional buy order. Nobody else spots it. There's no call from a corrupt broker, there's no dinner-party-tip-off from the CEO; your algorithm sees it plain and clear in the numbers - as good as any phone call or inside tip - you start buying ahead of the iceberg . . . (I believe it's known as 'towing' the iceberg)

 

You're acting on data available to all, but on information available only to you. Is that front-running? Is it legal? Is it fair?

 

Please note that the principal advantage in the second example is not speed. It's your algorithm, which is able to derive information that other market participants are not. The fact that another firm isn't smart enough to figure this out is a bit like the broker in the first example calling said firm and the phone being answered by a two year old child. It's not really your fault if everyone else is a bit stupid, is it?

 

For virtually anyone reading (myself included!), the reason that you don't do this isn't because you only trade counter-trend, or because you operate in a higher timeframe, or because you base all your trades on candlestick signals . . . It's because you don't have that algorithm. To claim otherwise is a bit like saying that the reason you don't walk on water is because you prefer walking on carpets.

 

In my first post I said "if you don't know the math it might as well be magic". Perhaps "if you don't know the math it might as well be front-running" is more accurate?

 

Thanks for reading.

 

BlueHorseshoe

Edited by BlueHorseshoe

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Please dont go Paul.....

 

I could concede that you are right and that everything you say is the truth.....fine.

 

Unresearched concession isn't what I want or expect from anyone. It's that very same unquestioned concession to unproven claims that is your problem. Therefore, it would be hypocritical of me to expect anyone to make the same mistake about a differing position without doing their own research.

 

The manner in which you've arrived at your stubborn conclusions (Namely: without any supporting evidence 'for..', or any research of the 'against..') is not conducive to debate on the subject. It's hard to see how someone who is so comfortable with arriving at conclusions that way could ever accept anything they don't want to hear. I can only wonder how you could possibly trade successfully with such a flaw.

 

You're dreaming if you think you're not attacking those with opposing views to yours.

Descriptions of Pragma's findings as 'sour-grapes' and snide comments of paranoia or 'conspiracy theorist' is a product of your own sour-grapes towards anyone who may be doing no more (but far more than you) than trying to discover the truth.

 

Given what is now known, It is a partcularly ignorant stance as HFT breaches of Securities Law is neither a theory nor paranoia anymore but a proven fact. All that's left in question really is the scale of the fraud.

 

As I said, I'm sure you're a nice person and while I am no fan of how you reach your beliefs, it's nothing personal. I'm a greater fan of freedom - no matter how it is wasted. However, I just find it very hard to feel motivated to continue a discussion about anything with someone who hasn't even researched what they're defending - or ranting against.

 

Even now, rather than research that which you seek to discuss you instead, immediately issue a list of bullet points for debate. One of which: 'HFT and fraud' for example is a subject to which, by your own admission, you have nothing to contribute.

 

Adding the afore-mentioned, insinuations of possible paranoia or conspiracy - even before anyone has addressed your list - casts immense doubt about your (in)ability to sincerely question your own beliefs.

 

'HFT and fraud'?

 

BTW, the items in your list before this one seeking to 'define' HFT have no bearing on the issue of the fraud taking place. As you can't provide one iota of evidence to support the claim that HFT was responsible for any benefit not already created by D&ET, I am equally unmotivated to continue that discussion or opinions about definitions.

 

Continuing to do so will merely serve to deflect discussion away from the only issue we should be focusing on. I realize that you're very keen for that diversion to take place - and I made the mistake of allowing that to happen before - but it only serves to distract from the issue of fraud that we should all be very, very concerned with.

 

So...., 'HFT and Fraud'

 

Isn't that something you should research BEFORE presuming to debate it?

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Unresearched concession isn't what I want or expect from anyone. It's that very same unquestioned concession to unproven claims that is your problem. Therefore, it would be hypocritical of me to expect anyone to make the same mistake about a differing position without doing their own research.

 

The manner in which you've arrived at your stubborn conclusions (Namely: without any supporting evidence 'for..', or any research of the 'against..') is not conducive to debate on the subject. It's hard to see how someone who is so comfortable with arriving at conclusions that way could ever accept anything they don't want to hear. I can only wonder how you could possibly trade successfully with such a flaw.

 

You're dreaming if you think you're not attacking those with opposing views to yours.

Descriptions of Pragma's findings as 'sour-grapes' and snide comments of paranoia or 'conspiracy theorist' is a product of your own sour-grapes towards anyone who may be doing no more (but far more than you) than trying to discover the truth.

 

Given what is now known, It is a partcularly ignorant stance as HFT breaches of Securities Law is neither a theory nor paranoia anymore but a proven fact. All that's left in question really is the scale of the fraud.

 

As I said, I'm sure you're a nice person and while I am no fan of how you reach your beliefs, it's nothing personal. I'm a greater fan of freedom - no matter how it is wasted. However, I just find it very hard to feel motivated to continue a discussion about anything with someone who hasn't even researched what they're defending - or ranting against.

 

Even now, rather than research that which you seek to discuss you instead, immediately issue a list of bullet points for debate. One of which: 'HFT and fraud' for example is a subject to which, by your own admission, you have nothing to contribute.

 

Adding the afore-mentioned, insinuations of possible paranoia or conspiracy - even before anyone has addressed your list - casts immense doubt about your (in)ability to sincerely question your own beliefs.

 

'HFT and fraud'?

 

BTW, the items in your list before this one seeking to 'define' HFT have no bearing on the issue of the fraud taking place. As you can't provide one iota of evidence to support the claim that HFT was responsible for any benefit not already created by D&ET, I am equally unmotivated to continue that discussion or opinions about definitions.

 

Continuing to do so will merely serve to deflect discussion away from the only issue we should be focusing on. I realize that you're very keen for that diversion to take place - and I made the mistake of allowing that to happen before - but it only serves to distract from the issue of fraud that we should all be very, very concerned with.

 

So...., 'HFT and Fraud'

 

Isn't that something you should research BEFORE presuming to debate it?

 

 

 

they were not bullet points for debate - they are your claims that I thought i would clarify, and for the discussion might ask if this understanding is correct......

 

Re the fraud/theft/criminal activities - I thought it was you who is claiming this.....? I was just paraphrasing your stance, and i thought this was your POV.....and I previously suggested it possible/probable - I have not seen evidence, just claims of it.....in fact I have seen more evidence of fraud in banks and the recent insider trading scandals - maybe on your logic we should ban the banks and hedge funds.....these guys have multiple instances

So if I agree with you I am wrong, if I disagree with you I am wrong.

 

I still dont get the issues you claim - what is the "only issue we should be focusing on" - and if i thought I was reading this right, the only diverging issue right from the start seemed to be weather or not HFT reduced costs and spreads, and i never defended HFT, yet you seem absolutely unequivocally against it..........

 

....not even sure how i am diverting anything.....

 

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Man oh man......what a day.

(and now for the personal side line....do for those not interested feel free to skip)

 

Ok Paul - not sure what else i can do.....

if you tell me i am wrong, and say for the sake of discussion you are right. I conceed everything you say is right.

You then continue on with this ....lets go.

 

Research into stubborn:

stub·born/ˈstəbərn/

Adjective:

Having or showing dogged determination not to change one's attitude or position on something, esp. in spite of good arguments or reasons...

Difficult to move, remove, or cure.

 

Sorry does not apply here - already conceeded.

But wait you dont want that because you want everyone to do their own research. --- hmmm what to do now ???

 

See how silly this becomes Paul.

 

Oh.....and that little quip about my trading - pure gold....this was it

"The manner in which you've arrived at your stubborn conclusions (Namely: without any supporting evidence 'for..', or any research of the 'against..') is not conducive to debate on the subject. It's hard to see how someone who is so comfortable with arriving at conclusions that way could ever accept anything they don't want to hear. I can only wonder how you could possibly trade successfully with such a flaw."

 

yep.....I just trolley out someone else's research, rather than logically draw conclusions that make sense to me to suit my bias and what i have seen, (WMD research, or the pharma industry....???) I never question anything, never want to get into a discussion for things, that and even when i concede i might be wrong, I just rely on the ratings agencies, I double up....blah, blah, blah.

Problem is this has nothing to do with anything, and you dont seem to wish debate or discuss - you just want to attack.

 

so fuck it..

 

For all my flaws.....

 

Given your general response to things these are my thoughts about you.........

 

You seem to want to take your bat and ball and go home - you maybe a spoilt child,

and

that a questioning of others interests is seen as an attack (Pragma)- you maybe a little sensitive, (personal interest maybe?)(maybe a HFT reject or failure - maybe they forced you out of your won business.)

 

you cant seem to accept an apology, I made it clear it was not a rant and yet you continue with it and wish to move on - you maybe egotistical and an alpha male who is just a bully

you are bullied by your partner, and feel that its best to throw your weight around with someone else.....

you could be like some women (much like some I have know that even when i agree with them they carry on an on and on - (no aspersions on females who I adore))

 

you have control issues, and cant get over somethings - parental issues possibly???

 

you think you are everyone intellectual superior and everyone should comply with your research, or do their own for which you think no one else can have an opinion as you are right - maybe you are, and you probably might have made a good nazi or colonialist....either way a boring snob if so.

(this is the option I am going for in my thoughts and conclusions about you - seems the nicest one and i would not want to dull your sensitivities)

 

You know Paul I am confused.......you may be completely normal and having a bad day, or simply just a complete twat.

 

But clearly, you cant get over something....best part is you think I am stubborn.....:doh:

 

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

If you would like to get back to the HFT discussion by all means, but if you wish to hang around for alternative reasons then I guess there is always the ignore button....I suggest you ignore me as your intellectual inferior.

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Unresearched concession isn't what I want or expect from anyone. It's that very same unquestioned concession to unproven claims that is your problem. Therefore, it would be hypocritical of me to expect anyone to make the same mistake about a differing position without doing their own research.

 

The manner in which you've arrived at your stubborn conclusions (Namely: without any supporting evidence 'for..', or any research of the 'against..') is not conducive to debate on the subject. It's hard to see how someone who is so comfortable with arriving at conclusions that way could ever accept anything they don't want to hear. I can only wonder how you could possibly trade successfully with such a flaw.

 

You're dreaming if you think you're not attacking those with opposing views to yours.

Descriptions of Pragma's findings as 'sour-grapes' and snide comments of paranoia or 'conspiracy theorist' is a product of your own sour-grapes towards anyone who may be doing no more (but far more than you) than trying to discover the truth.

 

Given what is now known, It is a partcularly ignorant stance as HFT breaches of Securities Law is neither a theory nor paranoia anymore but a proven fact. All that's left in question really is the scale of the fraud.

 

As I said, I'm sure you're a nice person and while I am no fan of how you reach your beliefs, it's nothing personal. I'm a greater fan of freedom - no matter how it is wasted. However, I just find it very hard to feel motivated to continue a discussion about anything with someone who hasn't even researched what they're defending - or ranting against.

 

Even now, rather than research that which you seek to discuss you instead, immediately issue a list of bullet points for debate. One of which: 'HFT and fraud' for example is a subject to which, by your own admission, you have nothing to contribute.

 

Adding the afore-mentioned, insinuations of possible paranoia or conspiracy - even before anyone has addressed your list - casts immense doubt about your (in)ability to sincerely question your own beliefs.

 

'HFT and fraud'?

 

BTW, the items in your list before this one seeking to 'define' HFT have no bearing on the issue of the fraud taking place. As you can't provide one iota of evidence to support the claim that HFT was responsible for any benefit not already created by D&ET, I am equally unmotivated to continue that discussion or opinions about definitions.

 

Continuing to do so will merely serve to deflect discussion away from the only issue we should be focusing on. I realize that you're very keen for that diversion to take place - and I made the mistake of allowing that to happen before - but it only serves to distract from the issue of fraud that we should all be very, very concerned with.

 

So...., 'HFT and Fraud'

 

Isn't that something you should research BEFORE presuming to debate it?

 

 

Best bit is - most research tells me i should never have made money in the markets, but hey - it is something I have done since the early 1990s - despite the research.

I guess this applies to most people who make money in the markets as well, and I am assuming you dont trade as most research says that it's either impossible or you are highly likely to fail.

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Thanks BlueHorseshoe. At least this addresses the issue.

 

Now consider the following scenario........

 

......your electronic eyes are scanning the market, picking through the data - exactly the same data that every other market participant can see.

 

You're acting on data available to all.......

 

Please note that the principal advantage in the second example is not speed. It's your algorithm

,

It isn't the algorithm that's the advantage in modern-day front-running. Algorithmic trading is not a problem and I doubt it ever could be. Though the term is often used interchangeably with HFT, they are not the same thing at all. Neither is it true that you're 'picking through the data - exactly the same data that every other market participant can see' nor that 'the data is available to all'.

 

An important subset of HFT is 'flash' trading where the exchanges effectively have a club of favored high frequency traders who get to see orders in a very short period of time – but still a period of time – before the rest of the market (who weren’t members of that club) would get to see them. So now, 'front running', which is still technically illegal, is not illegal for everyone - apparently.

 

I wish front running was the only issue - or even the main problem. It would be the least of our problems. Even here though the method and scale on which it is now conducted is not within the shades of grey of your 20 year old example. The permitted "flashing" of orders to HFT machines — for a fee - is not comparable in its scope or effect on the overall market.

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Best bit is - most research tells me i should never have made money in the markets, but hey - it is something I have done since the early 1990s - despite the research.

I guess this applies to most people who make money in the markets as well, and I am assuming you dont trade as most research says that it's either impossible or you are highly likely to fail.

 

What? You reaching unfounded conclusions - again? Just try to imagine my surprise :)

 

Sorry, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings - hit a trading nerve did it?

Edited by Paul-TC

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An important subset of HFT is 'flash' trading where the exchanges effectively have a club of favored high frequency traders who get to see orders in a very short period of time – but still a period of time – before the rest of the market (who weren’t members of that club) would get to see them. So now, 'front running', which is still technically illegal, is not illegal for everyone - apparently.

 

 

Hi Paul,

 

HFT is a subclass of Algorithmic trading, and much algorithmic trading is totally benign, I agree.

 

Flash orders are a slightly different issue, surely - a more literal modern variant of frontrunning than my iceberg example? Without any flash privelleges a firm with sufficient algorithmic sophistication would be capable of, in my example, identifying and 'towing' an iceberg in real time.

 

A flash order is a bit like you being able to see tomorrow's closing price today.

 

The type of front-running' that I was describing is more like me being able to predict tomorrow's closing price with great confidence because I can do a bit of maths with today's closing price that most people can't.

 

If you're reading this and want privelleged access to flash orders then approach an exchange and offer to pay them whatever fee it is they require. If you can afford literal frontrunning/flash privelleges then don't bother with whatever pauper's version I am able to suggest here.

 

If someone reading this wants to assess order flow / determine their position in queue / reconstruct icebergs / etc in real time and without access to flash orders, then this thread is a place to find out how . . .

 

But only if I'm clever enough to work out how!!!

 

BlueHorseshoe

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What? You reaching unfounded conclusions - again? Just try to imagine my surprise :)

 

Sorry, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings - hit a trading nerve did it?

 

not at all. My feelings were not hurt, my trading nerve is unblemished....plus the conclusions re my trading are not unfounded regardless of your thoughts. I just thought it ironic given your love of research, or dont you believe all the research you read?

 

I would be happy to surprise you -it would bring joy to my day, alas I am more interested in the HFT, and I am sure your intellectualy superior mind is too above being surprised.

 

 

Given my research flash trading has been proposed to be banned, and it appears the exchanges no longer necessarily offer it.....

 

so what is the main issue with HFT again?

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If someone reading this wants to assess order flow / determine their position in queue / reconstruct icebergs / etc in real time and without access to flash orders, then this thread is a place to find out how . . .

 

But only if I'm clever enough to work out how!!!

 

BlueHorseshoe

 

Maybe I am being stupid here ;) Blue, but an answer to your question maybe to change the time frame. Competing with reading quotes is going to be tough a retail person.

It is something that people often talk about -" I would not want to give away my secret for fear everyone else does it and the edge is ruined".....this maybe for arbitrage opportunities, but if you are trading with others in a directional POV, then the more going your way the better....and then do you need to predict, or just follow?

 

''''''''''''''''''

 

All quotes in the machines are an illusion - if they have the ability to be pulled because they can see something coming through then maybe that is illegal/unfair etc - but then who is giving this ability.....the exchanges?

 

Plus there are the issues of where do you draw the line.

market maker quotes are generally indicative, do you say to an institution, that order you gave to buy 1 million, cannot be cancelled, how much would everyone be liable for.

If the market is about price discovery, then looking at quotes as opposed to traded volumes might be the best you could hope for.

 

Drawing an arbitrary requirement to be liable for the quote of 1 sec, 1 minute or 300 milliseconds 'might' be an answer - but not if there is a two tiered market.

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not at all. My feelings were not hurt, my trading nerve is unblemished....plus the conclusions re my trading are not unfounded regardless of your thoughts. I just thought it ironic given your love of research, or dont you believe all the research you read?

 

I would be happy to surprise you -it would bring joy to my day, alas I am more interested in the HFT, and I am sure your intellectualy superior mind is too above being surprised.

 

 

Given my research flash trading has been proposed to be banned, and it appears the exchanges no longer necessarily offer it.....

 

so what is the main issue with HFT again?

 

My understanding was that it had been banned - or am I mis-remembering? Maybe I'm thinking of quote stuffing . . .

 

Also, I thought flash feeds were only an option with certain exchanges (mostly equity) - I didn't think that the CME, for instance, had ever offered any kind of flash feed. If anyone knows any more about this then please speak up!

 

Thanks,

 

BlueHorseshoe

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The first chart image attached below focuses on thirty minutes of trading earlier today.

 

I have marked the close of a price bar at 09.07 with a green arrow. Now, suppose at this time you (or your strategy, or the strategy I showed backtests for yesterday) decide that (for whatever hypothetical reason) you would like to buy a pullback to 1403. So, at 09.07 you place a buy limit order at 1403, marked with a dotted green line.

 

The second image I have attached is a 10-tick chart. I have marked your limit order with a dotted green line, and the time of entry with a green arrow, the same as on the first chart. As you can see from the subsequent price action, you’re at your very best today, and you have predicted the turning point where the market reverses and resumes its previous uptrend to the tick (must be those magic trend-lines you drew!).

 

Now, was your limit order filled? Where were you in the order queue?

 

There are circumstances where you can know that you definitely were filled, but after that it becomes an estimation game based on mathematical modelling of probable outcomes. Here is how you can know when you were definitely filled:

 

At the time your order is placed, a time we will call T1, we consult the order book and note the number of participants already bidding to buy, a number we shall call B, at the same price level of 1403. We’ll call this number X. X=B at T1, and in the case of our example X=14. On the upper sub-pane of the second chart, X is represented by a white line and B is represented by the blue histogram. You can see that at the time the order is placed B and X are the same; after that B changes as the number of bids change, but X remains the same.

 

X is the number of people ahead of you in the queue at the time T1. Assuming their orders remain in place until such time as the market reaches this price level, a time we shall call T2, X sellers will have to jump the spread with market orders to be matched with those of the X buyers ahead of you in the queue, before your order can be filled.

 

If at any time between T1 and T2 the number of participants bidding to buy, or B, should fall below X, then this indicates that the number of orders ahead of yours in the queue has decreased by X-B.

 

Continuing in this vein, we might also think that if B increases above X, as it does several time when the blue histogram bars are greater than the white line, then B-X would give the number of orders in the queue that are behind yours. The reason this is not a valid assumption is that those ahead of you in the queue may cancel their orders at the same time as new orders of greater quantity may be introduced to the back of the queue. Increasing the granularity of your study may reduce some of the error here, but it won’t eliminate it.

 

However, should B increase above X, then B-X will give you a value for the minimum number of orders that are behind you in the queue. The number may be larger, if cancellations have moved you forward in the queue, but it can never be smaller because no order can jump ahead of you in the queue.

 

One scenario that may already have occurred to you is a sequential concatenation of the two boundary definition events we have described above. Suppose that at a time between T1 and T2, that we can call Tj, B=X-100. At a subsequent time, Ti, B=X+200. If at Tj Y=X-B, then at Ti (B-X)+Y=R, where R is the number of orders behind us in the queue. These events need not be sequential, of course, and can be far more simply considered by using another storage variable . . .

 

We can generalise all of this by keeping track of the lowest value assumed by X-B after T1 using a variable K, which is initialised at a value equal to B at T1, and thereafter provides an estimation of our position in the order queue, Z. Z is represented in the upper sub-pane by the red histogram bars – notice that though it can decrease with B, it never increases.

 

We can state this something like:

 

form.thumb.jpg.2c7a2560c81fa92c67832ebaeb7a53a3.jpg

 

Thus we can calculate a maximum value for Z and a minimum value for R.

 

min(Z)=K

 

max®=B-K

 

Possible utilities of R would make a great topic for a different post.

 

Returning to our initial question and examining the number of orders that were matched at the limit price, shown by downticks in the lower sub-pane, yielding a total of (10+60+17+11)=98 buy limits filled at 1403, we can see from the value of the red histogram bar that the highest position you might have occupied in the order queue is 12. Thus we can conclude with certainty that your order would indeed have been filled (as would another 86 orders queued behind ours).

 

This primitive model has now defined some boundaries of certitude. We can move inside these boundaries by modelling order flow, but that’s a topic for another post!

 

BlueHorseshoe

 

 

ps. in the example charts above, for reasons of clarity when handling a live data feed, I have substituted a derivative of price for bidsize.

 

pps. apologies for the scrappy little gif formula - there's no symbol font for me to do this in the forum.

5aa7112c38298_Image1.thumb.gif.2d897edee9033e319140e23fd469e602.gif

5aa7112c3e2df_Image2.thumb.gif.392ac9894e979947046f88c7b653f920.gif

Edited by BlueHorseshoe

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"No one’s benefitting from the fact that the entire market could blow up at any second."

 

Nassim Nicholas Taleb might be! :)

 

There was a great article on Taleb and Niederhoffer in the New Yorker (its been posted on TL before) . . . bear with me . . . here we go:

 

gladwell dot com - blowing up

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yes - as a long volatility type - looking for outliers I subscribe to Talebs ideas.

These were something many long volatility option traders have always done - pay for the time decay and wake up one morning to find windfall gains.

 

Which is why I think why everyone is focused on the 'costs' of HFT, they might be missing what I would consider one of the bigger issues. One of the complaints is that HFT distort the price discovery mechanism for the share market without any added benefit - maybe on a micro second basis but how does a long term investor worry about this. (something for discusion ?))

Shouldn't the dislocation from HFT allow long term value investor the change to get set (maybe not in massive volume) in stocks they like at certain values. They might be looking to set buys at lower levels for this - but probably not as often they sell like many others when the panic is on, or at the bottom if they have time. ( I have no research on this except that many long term market investing institutions dont outperform the market)

 

Mind you maybe we should just look to buy volatility and hope they have more Dormant programs ala Knight.

Edited by SIUYA

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Hi Paul,

HFT is a subclass of Algorithmic trading, and much algorithmic trading is totally benign.

 

I agree Algos are benign and there's nothing wrong with them IMO. I don't think how one chooses to group or class the two matters all that much - they are what they are. However, as Algos and HFT can exist independently of one another, I personally wouldn't describe one as a sub-class of the other. OTOH, I would place flash orders as a subset of HFT because they need HFT for them to be of any use.

 

Flash orders are a slightly different issue, surely - a more literal modern variant of frontrunning than my iceberg example? Without any flash privelleges a firm with sufficient algorithmic sophistication would be capable of, in my example, identifying and 'towing' an iceberg in real time.

Hmmm, I'm not sure if I've understood you but are you saying that flash orders are more or less the same as a sophisticated algo? Or that a sophisticated algo can achieve the same level of front-running as flash orders provide?

 

If so, I don't think I can agree. If, as you said, the algo is given the same data as everyone, the best even the most sophisticated algo can do is make estimations based on complex calculations.

By contrast, flash trading removes much of that need to estimate as it provides precise data (to a select few) about EVERY order before they hit the tape and permit them to front run them if desired. A pure algo can't front run without that advance info. In that respect algos are no different to what many traders attempt to do when predicting future price action or trends - albeit using more complex code and more powerful bots.

 

A flash order is a bit like you being able to see tomorrow's closing price today.

 

The type of front-running' that I was describing is more like me being able to predict tomorrow's closing price with great confidence because I can do a bit of maths with today's closing price that most people can't.

I concur with your description of the front running achievable with flash orders (Obviously, the timeframe is much shorter than the daily close - but I knew what you meant).

But I wouldn't describe the next bit as front-running at all. The fact that it involves 'prediction' with 'confidence' resulting from some complex algorithmic calculation is not the same as the 'certainty' with 'no risk' resulting from being provided with data that is 'inside information' and not available to just anyone.

 

If you're reading this and want privelleged access to flash orders then approach an exchange and offer to pay them whatever fee it is they require. If you can afford literal frontrunning/flash privelleges then don't bother with whatever pauper's version I am able to suggest here.

I don't think your version is a pauper's version of front-running. I see no front-running within it but just a complex set of code being applied to data that is (almost) 'freely' available to everyone. My take on flash trades is that I don't see why anyone should ALWAYS be able to see, and act upon EVERY order (if they wish), before they've even hit the market.

 

Obviously the regulators agree as front-running is still illegal. Technically, it would be breaking that law to receive flash orders and/or act upon them (I don't know but maybe it would even be an offence to try to get and pay for them). Just because TPTB turn a blind eye to the chosen few breaking that law, doesn't mean that they would permit just anyone and everyone to do it - even if they offered to pay. And that's probably because it would not have any value if they did let everyone have that data. The effect would be exactly the same as not letting anyone have it - which is probably why it's still on the Securities Law books.

Edited by Paul-TC

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If, as you said, the algo is given the same data as everyone, the best even the most sophisticated algo can do is make estimations based on complex calculations.

 

 

Hi Paul,

 

I meant exactly the same as what you outline above - maybe I was just unclear.

 

There's obviously a world of difference between the certainties of a flash order and the estimations of any algorithm.

 

However, I'm not sure that this means that an algorithmic estimation shouldn't qualify as frontrunning.

 

This rests on the definition of "information". Front-running is acting in advance on information that is not available to the market at large (such as the broker call in my original example, or indeed a flash order). My question is this: is acting on information that is not available to the public due to the complexity of its derivation, from data that is available to the public, to all intents and purposes the same as front running?

 

If you're capable of re-constructing and 'towing' an iceberg (without the help of flash orders), could the information you're basing your decisions upon really be described as "public"?

 

BlueHorseshoe

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It is possible to estimate your own position in queue, obviously. There isn't 100% way to know however because orders underneath your own can be pulled while simultaneously new orders can be added at the back.

 

Predictor,

 

Two tediously long explanatory posts later (#50 and #64), and now absolutely anybody reading should understand exactly what you meant in the post above!!!

 

It would be great to hear any further thoughts you have on this, as obviously an experienced tape-reader is going to come at it from a slightly different angle to the mechanical approach I gave.

 

Errors, shortcuts, hints, tips, cheats - please feel free to fire away!

 

Cheers,

 

BlueHorseshoe

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However, I'm not sure that this means that an algorithmic estimation shouldn't qualify as frontrunning.

 

This rests on the definition of "information". Front-running is acting in advance on information that is not available to the market at large (such as the broker call in my original example, or indeed a flash order). My question is this: is acting on information that is not available to the public due to the complexity of its derivation, from data that is available to the public, to all intents and purposes the same as front running?

 

If you're capable of re-constructing and 'towing' an iceberg (without the help of flash orders), could the information you're basing your decisions upon really be described as "public"?

 

BlueHorseshoe

 

Would doing your own value based research into a stock - no matter how complex then be considered front running - just because you managed to purchase the stock before others discovered the same value?

 

Or what if you used a simple (not complex) algo to do the same?

 

IMHO - the issue is about if the information is available to the public and not a select few - with an unfair advantage associated with this allowing them to manipulate the markets.

 

What you do with that information, complex or simple is up to you.

No matter how broad or narrow your definition - it would be hard to say there is something wrong if you are predicting based on information everyone has. You are merely deriving/summarizing your own assessments into a trading decision. Once it is out there its your assessment.

 

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Front running could be thought of as a subset of inside trading (different definitions apply for different jurisdictions) - but lets assume a broad one - acting on information that is not freely available to the public that you reasonably expect to have an effect on the price.

 

(Now freely available to the public is arguable - Floors previously had a geographical restriction, and can anyone purchase and utilise these flash orders, due to speed etc; This is why all these issues are not cut and dry, and why flash trading created the controversy when it was revealed....a lot of the legal issues also revolve around issues as to who is the law designed to protect, and what is the over riding basis of the law - things like fair and orderly are hard to define unlike a speed limit for a car.)

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....However, I'm not sure that this means that an algorithmic estimation shouldn't qualify as frontrunning.

 

This rests on the definition of "information". Front-running is acting in advance on information that is not available to the market at large (such as the broker call in my original example, or indeed a flash order). My question is this: is acting on information that is not available to the public due to the complexity of its derivation, from data that is available to the public, to all intents and purposes the same as front running?

 

If you're capable of re-constructing and 'towing' an iceberg (without the help of flash orders), could the information you're basing your decisions upon really be described as "public"?

 

BlueHorseshoe

If the algos decisions are based on 'inside information' (I was amazed at what, and how much, flash data is transmitted to the chosen few), then I'd call that front running.

 

I don't think it's front running if the algos decisions are based on data that is available to all. I see how one could consider it so, precisely for the reason that you nailed: It boils down to the definition of 'information'. One definition of 'information' is: 'knowledge communicated or received'. That implies that they have data or 'facts' that no one else can have when all they have are products of calculations and rules of execution. IMO, there is just as much chance of their resulting trading decisions being wrong as someone just trading a SMA.

 

Without doubt, the algos are proprietary, could be so complex and require so much computer power that 99.99% of market participants could never be able to replicate the same calculations.

 

However, at the end of the day, even the 'processing poor's' trading rules and indicators are algos. I can't replicate the results of ALL of those either onto my screens but it isn't a disadvantage and probably much better for my results to not even try.

 

FWIW, In a previous life I was a Software Developer for over 20 years (except we called them Computer Programmers back then). I believed then (and still do) that I can code anything. That belief caused me to think it was THE edge that would make the difference in my trading. I'm sure many Software Developers crossing over have made the same mistake - and they always will.

 

After initially spending many years writing volumes of complex systems and indicators, I found better results when I stopped that approach. I don't auto-trade and now have very bland screens with just a couple of indicators - even those are mostly ergonomically helpful rather than seeking to predict.

 

So, anyone's algo is of no consequence to me and probably not to anyone else either. In fact, my opinion is that they aren't as much of an advantage as even they, themselves assume. Of course, coupled with the dark side of HFT that so many don't want to acknowledge even exists, their effectiveness become something else.

Edited by Paul-TC

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Would doing your own value based research into a stock - no matter how complex then be considered front running - just because you managed to purchase the stock before others discovered the same value?

 

Or what if you used a simple (not complex) algo to do the same?

 

 

I don't know the answer to these questions and I'm not sure anyone else does - this would tend to support my point that there is no clear answer and that it's 'shades of grey'.

 

If my algorithm enables me to front run in exactly that same way as a firm with flash orders, does some Joe Public investor (it's always 'a granny from Milwaukee' in the books :)) really give a damn about the difference? The end result is the same, afterall . . .

 

BlueHorseshoe

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IMO, there is just as much chance of their resulting trading decisions being wrong as someone just trading a SMA.

 

Really?

 

As a programmer I imagine you don't need me to patronise you with examples of the sort of things such firms exploit, so if that is the conclusion you've reached then I'm not sure what to say. Maybe you're right, who knows?

 

I think twenty years ago I was maybe just learning to program in BBC BASIC - what sort of software development did you do?

 

Regards,

 

BlueHorseshoe

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Really?

 

Yes, there's not the slightest doubt in my mind that trading the markets is about risk control - not crystal ball gazing.

 

And crystal ball gazing is all anyone's algo is trying to do - no matter how simple or complex. Of course, if they are basing their algos/decisions on 'inside information', then that's not crystal ball gazing and therefore, a whole different story.

 

As a programmer I imagine you don't need me to patronise you with examples of the sort of things such firms exploit, so if that is the conclusion you've reached then I'm not sure what to say. Maybe you're right, who knows?

 

It's 'the sort of things they exploit' that's the key. What they say they're exploiting might not be what they're actually exploiting. Or to put it another way: If algos could ever be so prescient, why would anyone with unlimited access to virtually unlimited money, data, computing power, speed of access, software, zero commissions, payment for orders etc., need to commit fraud on a daily basis, cheat and so fervently and expensively lobby to protect against those illegal methods being stopped?

 

I think twenty years ago I was maybe just learning to program in BBC BASIC - what sort of software development did you do?

 

I hate to admit this but I was a freelance Consultant specializing in banking software. I apologize but rest assured I will be going to hell :)

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It's 'the sort of things they exploit' that's the key. What they say they're exploiting might not be what they're actually exploiting. Or to put it another way: If algos could ever be so prescient, why would anyone with unlimited access to virtually unlimited money, data, computing power, speed of access, software, zero commissions, payment for orders etc., need to commit fraud on a daily basis, cheat and so fervently and expensively lobby to protect against those illegal methods being stopped?

 

sounds like a bank......................

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