‘Socialism’, Albert Einstein said, is humanity’s attempt ‘to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development’, and for G.A. Cohen ‘every market … is a system of predation.’
It reminds me of the FX HFT market. Imagine a large men’s club, the larger men in one area, and the smaller, younger ones, uglier ones in another. All of them are trying to get the attention of one girl, of two, or three.
Finally, one of the big men tells someone half his size: “you’re predatory, get up and leave and never come back” as if he’s the one who’s threatened.
Although all parts of HFT are different, between FX, Equities, and Futures, Lewis’ book operates more as a novella than a true champion and essay that can add luster and varnish on boring texts on HFT from Fabozzi or Wiley Books.
Lewis’ book is scintillating drama, first and foremost, with creatively drawn historical characters rather than something that you would use in an interview to say you now know a lot about HFT.
Still, in an era where the normal retail investor trades 200 shares at a time, HFT trades up to 1,000,000 (BATs under David Cummings is one of them and mentioned several times) in just a few seconds and up to a 1 billion a day; one invariably wonders if the markets are rigged for the favored few rather than the everyday plebe with his 401k and Fidelity account.