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Prosecutors Request Closed Courtroom For Goldman HFT Programmer's Trial 250

Posted by timothy
from the sealed-in-carbonite dept.
dave562 writes "Goldman Sachs' lawyers have asked the Federal judge to seal the court room during the trial of Sergey Aleynikov. Aleynikov was one of the programmers who developed Goldman's High Frequency Trading (HFT) programs. What does this say about the state of the financial industry? Given the problems HFT seems to have caused over the last few years, shouldn't more light be shined into the dark corners of how it works?"
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Prosecutors Request Closed Courtroom For Goldman HFT Programmer's Trial

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  • by Stregano (1285764) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:11PM (#34053372)
    I could see the closed doors. If the guy says he didn't, and then they start pulling up source code, then I would personally not be happy if that source code was just shown to the world if I was working on a closed source project
  • Trade Secrets? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RingDev (879105) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:11PM (#34053394) Homepage Journal

    Not that I approve of HFT in any way shape or form. But this guy is going to be talking about the system that allows the to have an edge over their competitors. If I were in that company's position, I'd very much like that testimony to remain sealed as well.

    -Rick

  • No. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:13PM (#34053424) Journal

    What does this say about the state of the financial industry? Given the problems HFT seems to have caused over the last few years, shouldn't more light be shined into the dark corners of how it works?

    No... then they’d actually have to fix it...

  • Goldman's Lawyers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:22PM (#34053554) Journal

    Normally, I'd nitpick about how the Federal Prosecutors asked for this and not Goldman's lawyers. However, with the political and economic landscape being what they are, federal prosecutors have really become Goldman's lawyers.

  • Unfair advantage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:25PM (#34053606)
    How is this type of computer system that trades before anyone else even CAN considered fair or even legal? You get to control and possibly even direct the market with this tool.

    This is a monopoly on the stock market, WAY too much power in the hands of one company.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:34PM (#34053772)

    Or maybe the massive drop off in political contributions from Wall Street following all the tar and feathering they have been getting from the current administration (far beyond the taring and feathering that they DO deserve) has gotten some peoples attention and they really are concerned with their ability to fund raise, I mean the ability of companies not to be unjustifiably victimized just because they happen to be *gasp* profitable.

    Do your lips get chapped from smoking Wall Street pole all day long, or have you gotten used to it? The "justified" response to the clusterfuck caused by the investment banks would have been to nationalize them and put the execs in JAIL. The fact that they're STILL whining despite record profits demonstrates that they're just bitches.

  • Easy fix (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whiteboy86 (1930018) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:36PM (#34053802)
    Just do not allow those firms to act as a market maker, broker, banker and a trader at the same time.

    Those firms should only be allowed to act as one part of the system and be restricted from taking advantage of acting as a multi-role entity by the law.
  • by ottothecow (600101) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:39PM (#34053862) Homepage
    The issue here is that trade secrets are *not* protected. If they had a patent, then the open doors wouldn't matter since they had already exposed the inner workings in the patent filing.

    Trade secrets only stay secret if you keep them that way. This is no different than if Coke asked for closed doors when it was going to present its secret formula.

  • Re:Easy fix (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:40PM (#34053882)

    Or, allow them to do whatever they want but have clocked-synchronous trades so that no one can gain a disproportionate advantage by trading faster than others are capable of.

  • Re:Trade Secrets? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:43PM (#34053934) Journal

    Yes, if I were manipulating markets I wouldn't want that to get out either.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:54PM (#34054106)

    OK, for all you whiners about the evils of software patents, this is what you get - secret algorithms.

    And this is a problem because?

    'Secret algorithms' are far less painful than patents, because anyone can produce their own algorithm, whereas no-one can use tech covered by even the stupidest and most absurdly obvious patent without risking a long and expensive court battle.

    Of course no sane legal system would close a sourt just because someone's 'secret algorithm' might be mentioned.

  • Useless (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wervr (712696) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:56PM (#34054148)
  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @01:57PM (#34054178)

    I don't understand why trade secrets shoud be protected.

    Because it can cause billions of dollars worth of harm to Goldman. It's reasonable to make this request.

    Wasn't patent law allowed under the Constitution to prevent just this sort of thing?

    No. Patent law was designed to encourage companies to reveal their relevant trade secrets in exchange for a temporary monopoly.

  • Re:Easy fix (Score:3, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:13PM (#34054480)
    Or don't do anything and avoid "fixing" a non-problem.
  • by ottothecow (600101) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:14PM (#34054490) Homepage
    And that is how the justice system works.

    If coke were accusing an employee of something relating to millions of dollars where they needed to present part of the formula as evidence and the court denied their request for closed doors, they might be forced to not present the evidence or not pursue trial at all. The formula is worth far more than one trial so they would probably walk away from having to publicly display it--if the employee was actually guilty of something, he would run free since coke would be unable to present key evidence.

  • by Kevin Stevens (227724) <kevstev@gmailYEATS.com minus poet> on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:18PM (#34054556)

    Anyone with reasonably deep pockets can build one. Speed advantages in the stock market have always existed. Why do you think the floor brokers are there? They wanted to be able to trade on information first. People are just going all OMG about it because its on computers, and therefore somehow scarier to them (and you even see this on Slashdot, which is strange).

    You can't control or direct the market with these systems any more than a guy in the pit that can yell BUY faster than everyone else. You need to shift demand to move the market.

    Monopoly on the stock market? Now you are kind of out in left field. How do they in any, way, shape, or form... have a monopoly... on the stock market? I am not even sure what a monopoly on the stock market would look like.

    Yet somehow you are marked insightful... blind groupthink strikes again.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:24PM (#34054662) Journal

    IT will be open eventually, just not until someone is convicted. The court process is not about indirectly punishing someone for being charged, it's about determining innocence or guilt and only then punishing someone if it's appropriate. If there is a conviction, it will all be public. If not, then disclosing the source code and methods does little but harm the programmer.

  • by TheoMurpse (729043) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:28PM (#34054730) Homepage

    Before anyone jumps in to argue that patents protect what would be otherwise trade secrets, so there need be no protection for trade secrets, the point is this: you can't force someone to reveal their secrets, so you induce them but guaranteeing them if they reveal the secret, they'll have the full might of the government helping them out.

    If your unpatented trade secret is revealed, you have recourse against the person who leaked it (often an employee with shallow pockets filled with dust, not greenbacks), but not against anyone who uses the trade secret. This is often the case when a mid-level employee leaves a service company and starts poaching the company's clients by using the company's secret client list.

  • by mea37 (1201159) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:30PM (#34054788)

    I keep hearing that "anyone" can do this. Please point me to where I can sign up to collocate my server with the market computers - because that is actually necessary to set up an effective HFT system.

    The ability of an elite few to buy access to information about the value of an item, when that information is unavailable to others with whom they will buy and sell that item, is a violation of free market premises.

    Much of what the SEC regulations do is to produce a free market. This is what many political pundits fail to understand - the "free" in free market does not mean "unregulated". The best regulatory approach in the world would never create a 100% ideal free market - money will always be able to buy research - but there's a difference between "not being able to produce a perfectly flat playing field" vs. "allowing people to artificially create an information assymetry, with the express purpose of taking profits from those on the other side of the field, with an insanely high barrier to entry for those who want to join you". HFT is the latter.

    HFT is a practice that should be regulated out of existence.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:36PM (#34054888)

    Well, that's not true either.

    The biggest problem with the "current clusterfuck" was not so much bad loans per se. Bad loans are and were not unexpected with the sort of lower-quality loans that were being made, even though the extent of the defaults has been unexpectedly high. A major problem that allowed this to spread from the sub-sector of the financial industry that deals with housing to the wider market was the financial engineering that was supposed to generate safe AAA assets out of a pool of crap, and the financial and non-financial institutions who stacked their balance sheets with this pseudo-AAA stuff with no back-up plans because, after all, 'it's top rated'. If it was just about a bunch of people who invested directly in a crappy market the problems would be restricted to those directly involved, and nobody would really care.

    How can I make a car analogy? A crappy old used-car with obvious rust that makes a horrible rattling noise when you start it both is and isn't dangerous - it has obvious flaws, but because these flaws are obvious it is possible to give it a wide berth if you don't know what you are doing. A car that looks new and doesn't make any obvious nasty sounds but has a flawed brake design can be more dangerous because you can't see that it is a death trap until you either do an implausible amount of inspection or ... until someone dies.

    Oh - and your blame for Fannie and Freddie fails to explain how there can also have been a housing bubble in the UK, where FNMC and FNMA don't operate and there is no UK equivalent. Possibly economics is more complicated that a simple morality tale? If we look at WHY there was such a large demand for AAA-rated USD assets we then get on to macroeconomics, behavioral psychology and regulatory matters.

    I have an elegant explanation for the events of 2008, but it is too long to fit in a /. comment...

  • Re:Useless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davev2.0 (1873518) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:45PM (#34055072)
    Actually, this is part of why they want to protect the algorithms. The Norwegians figured out the system, but if the HFT algorithms are made public, it will be a lot easier for people to game the whole system.
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @02:55PM (#34055284) Journal

    Your also forgetting that they have an interest in prosecuting without issues that could cause a verdict to be over turned.

    With all the political fevoring out there and general distaste for wall-street right now, releasing this information or making this public could raise a number of legal and ethics challenges causing something to be overturned or vacated on appeal.

    Suppose releasing this information caused a public outcry which tainted the jury or worse yet, caused protests on the court house steps that is later claimed to influence the trial disproportionately against the defense. The bottom line is that keeping it quiet, at least until the verdict is in, will avoid a lot of that. The constitution guarantees a fair trial, not having one is grounds for appeal, not being able to have one at all, can be grounds to avoid prosecution at all. It will make it extremely more difficult to get a conviction to stick if it's in the open before the trial is concluded.

  • Re:Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary&yahoo,com> on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:00PM (#34055376) Journal

    Vast disparities in wealth are incompatible with democracy and civil society. You can't have either when one small group of people gets to play by a completely different set of rules than everyone else. Given that you, personally, are more likely to get hit by a meteor and then struck by lightning than you are to accumulate your own vast wealth, and given that you, personally, benefit immensely from living in a democratic civil society, you, personally, should be against vast disparities in wealth. This applies to the 99.99 percent of people who will never accumulate more than a million in assets in their lifetime. Why let that .01 percent make the rules? They are making the rules, but you are the majority, meaning, you are letting them make the rules. You don't have to let them do that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:09PM (#34055528)

    "People are just going all OMG about it because its on computers, and therefore somehow scarier to them (and you even see this on Slashdot, which is strange)."

    People on Slashdot object BECAUSE they understand the computer technology (reduced latency due to proximity to the central data sources etc), and how it's being used by the big players.

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:31PM (#34055896)
    It is about the fact that Goldman Sachs had, and continues to have, network taps that are closer to the exchange computers than anybody else. They have latency advantages of up to .2ms on trades, which is a gigantic window if they can cache other orders and jam theirs into the front.

    Others have pointed out that Goldman Sachs record is statistically IMPOSSIBLE. See Seeking Alpha here:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/154083-goldman-is-its-trading-performance-statistically-reasonable?source=commenter [seekingalpha.com]

    Also, the exchanges have seen rashes of NOP orders placed. Fake trades designed to jam the queues to create artificial windows of opportunity to front-run big market movements. Goldman Sachs is probably (fuck probably, they are certainly) gaming NBBO and pocketing the difference millions of times a day.

    For the less market knowledgeable out there (basically, most of Slashdot), they are running the scam Richard Pryor did in Superman, or in Office Space. They are skimming pennies off the market by seeing a trade ahead of it hitting the exchange, then jamming NOP orders in while they calculate and move a trade ahead of that to piggyback on the effect of the larger trade on share price.

    Denninger has been all over this story:
    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2139302 [market-ticker.org]


    Sergey's code probably contains stuff in it that jams NOP orders into the system, or shows how it using something simple like the dragon tools or plain ol' tcpdump to inspect orders as they fly-by on the tap. In fact, Sergey's code may PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt that Goldman Sachs is tapping the NYSE Exchange computers ethernet feeds. That would be a bombshell of the first order.

    Like I said, look beyond the technical press and look at the financial press. Goldman Sachs is coming to the poker table with a marked deck and it can be statistically proven.

    HFT is a smoke screen. The frequency of trading is moot. if I can look at the world's trades before they hit the exchange and process and effect NBBO, I now have a license to print money. Doing it high frequency just makes the printing press run faster.
  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:47PM (#34056192)

    I keep hearing that "anyone" can do this. Please point me to where I can sign up to collocate my server with the market computers - because that is actually necessary to set up an effective HFT system.

    I haven't done this, but contact the major stock exchanges. I imagine all the major ones and a few minor ones offer collocation services.

    Much of what the SEC regulations do is to produce a free market. This is what many political pundits fail to understand - the "free" in free market does not mean "unregulated". The best regulatory approach in the world would never create a 100% ideal free market - money will always be able to buy research - but there's a difference between "not being able to produce a perfectly flat playing field" vs. "allowing people to artificially create an information assymetry, with the express purpose of taking profits from those on the other side of the field, with an insanely high barrier to entry for those who want to join you". HFT is the latter.

    I don't know. Paying to get an information asymmetry sounds very natural to me. And I doubt the barriers are "insanely high" else the stock market would be losing money.

    HFT is a practice that should be regulated out of existence.

    You need to come up with a reason first. Whining that someone spent gobs of money to get a nonexclusive trade advantage is not a legitimate reason.

  • by jeff4747 (256583) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @03:51PM (#34056254)

    eTrade and everyone else has the same shit for consumers to do their own HFT trading.

    Nope. You are talking about limit orders. Completely different thing than HFT [wikipedia.org]. In Goldman's case, they're really talking about what Wikipedia calls "ultra-low-latency direct market access (ULLDMA)", which is only available if you are a very large investment bank and can convince the stock exchange to put your server in their data center. That kind of access is not available to everyone.

  • by firewrought (36952) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @04:15PM (#34056550)

    There is no "special" data. You can get it too.

    Yep... anybody can just saunter into NYSE, plug their laptop into the same colocation racks [advancedtrading.com] as G. Sachs, et. al, and immediately being making money the ULLDMA [wikipedia.org] way.

  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @04:16PM (#34056562)

    The shill speaks. So much for transparency.

    Well excuse me, but this shill has a little more to say here. You and the rest of the public don't have a right to know private trade secrets. You can bluster all you want about "transparency", but it's just a pathetic excuse to unjustly cause up to billions of dollars of harm to an unpopular business.

    We don't need to see the extremely valuable computer code (and possibly other trade secrets) to have transparency in this court case, hence, we don't get to see it.

  • Re:Money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @04:20PM (#34056624) Journal

    Perhaps because the last few times we've seen political action to enforce a relative parity of wealth, we've seen Russia and China

    Hint, Russia and China are doing it wrong. Hell, their income inequality [wikipedia.org] is barely any better than ours. Fact is you can lower income inequality through policy without becoming a totalitarian hell hole. Look at central Europe.

  • Re:Money (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @04:30PM (#34056760)

    Perhaps because the last few times we've seen political action to enforce a relative parity of wealth, we've seen Russia and China become places that nearly no American would want to live.

    Or if you were concerned for honest and accurate discussion rather than panty twisting fear mongering, you might have pointed out America's recent much higher marginal tax rate which created the America of a large middle class which most people today see as what America is.

    Because, you know, there is a vast range of middle ground between the far fringe right of totalitarian rule by the elite where we are now and the far fringe left of Stalinism.. The chunk in the middle of that space is known as "Liberalism' or "the fundamental basis of America".

    So, no you're pretty much as wrong as it's possible to be. A few attempts at enforcing a relative parity of wealth went overboard. Most work well and create far superior societies than those of either extreme and we have the examples from our own country to point to to demonstrate that point absolutely.

    Thanks for playing though. If this were "spout crazy blatantly false reactionary nonsense" you would have done well.
    It's not though, it's we the decent people of this country are sick of you idiotic extremist wack jobs spouting idiotic bullshit that weakens the entire country for the benefit of a few sick fucks.

  • by bertok (226922) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @04:45PM (#34056920)

    I keep hearing that "anyone" can do this. Please point me to where I can sign up to collocate my server with the market computers - because that is actually necessary to set up an effective HFT system.

    The ability of an elite few to buy access to information about the value of an item, when that information is unavailable to others with whom they will buy and sell that item, is a violation of free market premises.

    Much of what the SEC regulations do is to produce a free market. This is what many political pundits fail to understand - the "free" in free market does not mean "unregulated". The best regulatory approach in the world would never create a 100% ideal free market - money will always be able to buy research - but there's a difference between "not being able to produce a perfectly flat playing field" vs. "allowing people to artificially create an information assymetry, with the express purpose of taking profits from those on the other side of the field, with an insanely high barrier to entry for those who want to join you". HFT is the latter.

    HFT is a practice that should be regulated out of existence.

    This came up before on Slashdot, and the regulation to introduce is simple: Change trading from a "first come, first served" system into something like a "turned based" game. The exchange should disseminate information and accept trades only at widely spaced "ticks", say, once a minute, or even further apart.

    Nothing of value is lost, but the ability to gain an unfair advantage through high-speed trading vanishes.

  • by Mysteray (713473) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @05:47PM (#34057542) Homepage

    You and the rest of the public don't have a right to know private trade secrets

    Says who? There's no inherent right to prevent "the public" from learning arbitrary information either. Does that mean I have some inherent right to prevent Google from learning every URL I type into a web browser? If they find themselves at risk of public disclosure of this data should courts protect their "right" to keep it as their "secret", even though I was the one who typed every character of it? The term "secret" is descriptive. If you know something, it's not a secret to you. You may want others not to know it, but once they do it's not a secret any more is it? "Trade secret" is a legal term of art, but even that term sounds to me more descriptive.

    You can bluster all you want about "transparency", but it's just a pathetic excuse to unjustly cause up to billions of dollars of harm to an unpopular business.

    You're not going to convince anyone if you don't give them at least a little credibility. Anyone who would agree that their own point of view is "just a pathetic excuse" is probably not worth convincing, in the rhetorical sense.

    We don't need to see the extremely valuable computer code (and possibly other trade secrets) to have transparency in this court case, hence, we don't get to see it.

    So you seem to be saying of "transparency"...
    The talk of it is "bluster"
    The talk of it is "just a pathetic excuse to cause harm"
    The minimum amount of information to "have transparency" should be disclosed, at least in this case, and
    We can "have transparency" in this case without disclosing the program source text

    Your arguments here are poorly thought out and backed up only by an angry tone.

    It seems to me that the best argument for an exception in this case (to the general rule of fully-public government) is that disclosure of the (formerly) trade secrets would be a big disincentive for any future victims to come forward and cooperate with prosecutors. This is hardly a new concept.

    But you haven't made that argument. Assuming that an actual shill would have at least know the common talking points, my guess is you're not really a shill.

  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @05:52PM (#34057572)

    Says who? There's no inherent right to prevent "the public" from learning arbitrary information either. Does that mean I have some inherent right to prevent Google from learning every URL I type into a web browser? If they find themselves at risk of public disclosure of this data should courts protect their "right" to keep it as their "secret", even though I was the one who typed every character of it? The term "secret" is descriptive. If you know something, it's not a secret to you. You may want others not to know it, but once they do it's not a secret any more is it? "Trade secret" is a legal term of art, but even that term sounds to me more descriptive.

    So it's ok, for example, if I post your medical records? The Supreme Court has recognized a right of privacy and has extended that right to corporations. I think it's a wise decision.

    It seems to me that the best argument for an exception in this case (to the general rule of fully-public government) is that disclosure of the (formerly) trade secrets would be a big disincentive for any future victims to come forward and cooperate with prosecutors. This is hardly a new concept.

    I shouldn't have to make that argument either since my argument was more than sufficient.

  • Well that's nice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LordNacho (1909280) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @06:32PM (#34057878)

    You don't think they deserve due process? You don't think any of them might have legitimately acquired their wealth?

  • Re:Money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Intrinsic (74189) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @06:39PM (#34057948) Homepage

    This is the core reason why nothing will change in this country. If everyone thinks they will get to the top, nobody will want to put any effort into changing the system. We have a majority of the population that is jumping up and down for some of the table scraps, but they will never, ever become part of the stupid-elite. The fact that so many people are delusional enough to assume that money equals happiness proves that we have to many people that have their priorities mixed up. Money isnt going to fix your life its only going to complicate the many problems you already have that you are not dealing with on a personal level and those problems will be transferred to innocent people because you have money and dont know how to use it. I dont hate you for it. I feel sad for you wasting your life for something that matters little in the grand scheme of things. :(

  • Hold on a sec (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LordNacho (1909280) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @06:43PM (#34057980)

    Vast disparities in wealth are incompatible with democracy and civil society. You can't have either when one small group of people gets to play by a completely different set of rules than everyone else. Given that you, personally, are more likely to get hit by a meteor and then struck by lightning than you are to accumulate your own vast wealth, and given that you, personally, benefit immensely from living in a democratic civil society, you, personally, should be against vast disparities in wealth. This applies to the 99.99 percent of people who will never accumulate more than a million in assets in their lifetime. Why let that .01 percent make the rules? They are making the rules, but you are the majority, meaning, you are letting them make the rules. You don't have to let them do that.

    Most people who accumulate a million bucks are fairly ordinary, not the type you tend to hear about on television. Middle aged people who've worked their whole lives and spent frugally.

    You're right that people ought to be under the same law, but what makes you think some people are above the law? We regularly hear about CEOs and other types who end up in jail. Apparently really nice jails, but jails nonetheless. Sure, money makes some people more powerful than others, but mostly you have to stay within the law to make a bunch of money.

    The real danger is that by trying to right the wrongs, you create a socialist dystopia that's meant to be fair, but isn't. Hand out welfare payments meant for people who can't find a job, and find that suddenly the working poor are worse off than the nonworking. You also end up relying on the state to plan everything, make every decision. Guess what, people who work for the government are fallible too.

  • by bertok (226922) on Thursday October 28, 2010 @07:45PM (#34058318)

    Volume is lost. Which you might not consider being "of value" but to the exchange it's the very valuable.

    That's a good thing -- the exchange can save money by not having to have server infrastructure capable of handling a huge, real-time load. They can perform trades using a much more efficient and cheaper batch processing system.

    They can make their 'cut' either way, it's not like they suddenly have to give up their primary source of income.

    Anybody that needed to make a legitimate trade can still trade exactly as they would have done otherwise. The number of real trades will not change. The volume of *real* trades will not change, and that is all that matters.

    Trades by HST systems are just shuffling things around. Shuffling things around, say, 20 times a second instead of once a minute doesn't increase liquidity for anyone who wants to sell a million shares "today". The number of buyers who want to purchase a million shares "today" is the same either way. That transaction can occur either way.

  • Nonsense. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2010 @10:12PM (#34059040)

    Neither Russia nor China had any interest in enforcing a relative parity of wealth. This is absurdly obvious with even a cursory look at rich party members vs. the average person. But of course, both Russia and China are trotted out by the existing ruling class to scare the masses against change.

    Mind you, I am vehemently opposed to forcing wealth parity. Achievement and accompanying reward must be driven by an individual's own merits and drive, and nothing more. I do realize that sadly, in today's society, that's just as much of a fantasy as a free market, or forced wealth parity, but I digress. :p

  • Re:Money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tehcyder (746570) on Friday October 29, 2010 @05:22AM (#34060792) Journal
    Russia and China were authoritarian nightmares before their revolutions.

    Socialism does not necessarily involve gulags and show trials, in the UK we managed to introduce a national health service, state pensions and so on without recourse to violence, because the vast majority of people agreed with them.

  • Re:Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tehcyder (746570) on Friday October 29, 2010 @05:35AM (#34060842) Journal

    I keep about $500 in checking to pay bills. The rest of the cash is in my home, which when the whole freaking thing ends up collapsing, I will have access to my money

    What makes you think your money will be worth anything if everything collapses?

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