Why are the NYSE and private companies fighting over two-millionths of a second?

From the #Marketplace #Podcast I heard a real gem for the !Stock Picking Discussion #Forum. I forget the details of the whole backstory, but what I remember is this...

#WallStreet started wholesale hiring #Computer #Scientist's shortly after the #Y2K changeover; we were at a severe pay discount at that time. It was around 2002 that the hiring wave was more of an open secret. The finance people that were writing their checks didn't give them their due respect when they should have. This made an opening for the #Geeks to steal their bully #Jocks lunches. The CS people front ran the market based on AI automated trading and a shorter wire than the finance jocks had.

To more deeply understand the wire advantage an ordinary 2GHz speed processor (old and slow now), makes well over 2 billion calculations per second, and there are 1 million microseconds per second, and electricity travels at the speed of light, so in the same time data travels through six-inches of wire that 2GHz processor finished doing a calculation. The longer the difference between the connection to the data is, the more time a computer has to react to a change in the same data. Let's just say you have the new Intel 9 in a machine working for you today. That's 18 cores each doing 3 billion calculations per second. That's also way over 108,000 calculations in two-millionths of a second. And that's why the NYSE is making the news today.

This skimming by the geeks has gone on for a long time now, maybe a decade. Yesterday's story by Kai Ryssdal and Sabri Ben-Achour linked below is a type of "The Empire Strikes Back" by the finance guys.

It's short and worth your time to listen, BUT!!! I do not in any way condone this type of hyperspeed trading, it's bad for the market, bad for the environment and bad for other investors! The systems I am developing are designed to give you the mathematical minimum volatility in your investments while doing reasonable buy-and-hold ownership, in an ideal set of proportions, while still enjoying healthy returns tuned in by your risk tolerance.

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