The Rise of the Machine Traders and the Rigging of the U.S. Stock Market
By Scott Patterson
(Crown Business, Hardcover, 9780307887177, 368pp.)
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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A news-breaking account of the global stock market's subterranean battles, Dark Pools portrays the rise of the "bots"- artificially intelligent systems that execute trades in milliseconds and use the cover of darkness to out-maneuver the humans who've created them.
In the beginning was Josh Levine, an idealistic programming genius who dreamed of wresting control of the market from the big exchanges that, again and again, gave the giant institutions an advantage over the little guy. Levine created a computerized trading hub named Island where small traders swapped stocks, and over time his invention morphed into a global electronic stock market that sent trillions in capital through a vast jungle of fiber-optic cables.
By then, the market that Levine had sought to fix had turned upside down, birthing secretive exchanges called dark pools and a new species of trading machines that could think, and that seemed, ominously, to be slipping the control of their human masters.
Dark Pools is the fascinating story of how global markets have been hijacked by trading robots--many so self-directed that humans can't predict what they'll do next.
SCOTT PATTERSON is a staff reporter at the Wall Street Journal, covering government regulation from the nation's capital.
"An excellent history of the early electronic traders" - Michael Lewis
“Scott Patterson’s Dark Pools is about the most important financial issue no one talks about—how high-frequency traders have rigged the market.”
“Remarkable…even long-time participants in electronic markets will learn a lot from this book.”
“Richly reported…an invaluable piece of timely journalism that should be read by regulators and anyone with a cent in the stock market...You will never look at the opening bell in the same way.”
“An engaging narrative…DARK POOLS is easily the most entertaining and accessible book to cover the new world of stock trading.”
“An education in how markets work, packaged in a thriller worthy of Michael Crichton…. Dark Pools is one of those rare books that is a great summer beach read and a useful trading manual.”
“Very enjoyable….a good story of how innovators destroy the old guard.”
“Dark Pools relays an epic tangle of hacktivists, old-school floor exchanges and traders – all wrestling to game the machines…The stories engage from chapter to chapter, bringing the reader from the outside in.”
“An entertaining account of the key battles in the “algo wars” and the colorful math geeks who fight them—some of whom are now fighting to rein in the monsters they created. Dark Pools is an alarming account.”
“Dark Pools is a must read for all serious investors. Patterson’s methodically researched book exposes the core problems in today’s securities market…His findings should serve as a blueprint for the SEC.”
--Blair Hull, founder of Hull Trading and Ketchum Trading