By Scott Patterson

A news-breaking account of the worldwide inventory market's subterranean battles, Dark Pools portrays the increase of the "bots"- artificially clever platforms that execute trades in milliseconds and use the canopy of darkness to out-maneuver the people who have created them.

In the start used to be Josh Levine, an idealistic programming genius who dreamed of wresting regulate of the industry from the large exchanges that, repeatedly, gave the enormous associations a bonus over the little man. Levine created a automatic buying and selling hub named Island the place small investors swapped shares, and over the years his invention morphed right into a worldwide digital inventory industry that despatched trillions in capital via an enormous jungle of fiber-optic cables.  

By then, the marketplace that Levine had sought to mend had became the other way up, birthing secretive exchanges referred to as darkish swimming pools and a brand new species of buying and selling machines which may imagine, and that appeared, ominously, to be slipping the keep an eye on in their human masters.

Dark swimming pools is the interesting tale of the way worldwide markets were hijacked through buying and selling robots--many so self-directed that people cannot expect what they're going to do subsequent.

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Extra resources for Dark Pools: The Rise of the Machine Traders and the Rigging of the U.S. Stock Market

Sample text

Bodek’s first assignment at Hull was to use machine learning—the same branch of AI he’d used at Magnify—to create algorithms to predict the direction of the stock-option market. It was the beginning of a dramatic trading evolution on Wall Street and among the first salvos in the coming Algo Wars. At the time, the algos that most firms used to trade were mindless drones, like single-cell organisms acting according to a basic set of rules designed by programmers. They would scan the market for signals, like primitive animals programmed to eat everything in sight.

To beat the speed traders at their own game, in 2009 he’d launched a turbocharged trading algorithm called Blast. Blast pounded its fleet-footed high-speed opponents with simultaneous buy and sell orders like a machine gun. The firepower of Blast was so overwhelming that it forced high-speed traders—who controlled upwards of 70 percent or more of all stock-market volume by the late 2000s—to cut bait and run for cover. Blast was effective. But Mathisson needed more. Now Mathisson had a new weapon in his arsenal.

All was quiet in the room. Perhaps too quiet. Everyone was waiting for the Machine to act. Bodek caught his breath. Now … Not again. “Oh fuck,” Bodek muttered. The Machine’s strategy involved rapidly buying and selling stock options. The trouble: Options tend to be extremely volatile and risky. Because of that, options traders normally offset their positions using stock—or an ETF. If the Machine bought an option giving it the right to buy Apple at a higher price within two weeks, it would turn around and sell short Apple stock to protect the position.

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