All You Need To Know About High Frequency Trading: ‘Sell Everything, And Shutdown’; 4 Years Without A Loss

“The founder of Tradebot, in Kansas City, Mo., told students in 2008 that his firm typically held stocks for 11 seconds. Tradebot, one of the biggest high-frequency traders around, had not had a losing day in four years, he said.”

The reasons for last week’s collapse will be probed for a long time, and likely no firm conclusion will ever be derived, because it was caused by a confluence of numerous factors. While there may be immediate causes for the plunge, the one recurring reason for both that crash, and all future ones, will be dominant role played by HFT traders as they now control market structure when they operate, and the massive vacuum left when they decide to simply shut down when things get too heated and there is no regulated liquidity provider backstop. As the New York Times reports yesterday from your typical HFT bucket shop “as the stock market began to plunge in the “flash crash,” someone here walked up to one of those computers and typed the command HF STOP: sell everything, and shutdown.” A vivid and brief summary of what we have been warning for over a year. Also, we find out that just like Tradebot, which as “one of the biggest high-frequency traders around, had not had a losing day in four years” that Goldman, and all the other big banks who reported a flawless first quarter, are now nothing but one large HFT prop shop: they push the market higher on no volume, and when the selling in size commences they all just shut down. So much for providing liquidity when it is needed. And as for that 4 year track record… What did Madoff go to jail for again?

From the NYT:

Above the Restoration Hardware in this Jersey Shore town, not far from the Navesink River, lurks a Wall Street giant. Here, inside the humdrum offices of a tiny trading firm called Tradeworx, workers in their 20s and 30s in jeans and T-shirts quietly tend high-speed computers that typically buy and sell 80 million shares a day.

But on the afternoon of May 6, as the stock market began to plunge in the “flash crash,” someone here walked up to one of those computers and typed the command HF STOP: sell everything, and shutdown.

Read moreAll You Need To Know About High Frequency Trading: ‘Sell Everything, And Shutdown’; 4 Years Without A Loss

‘Banging’ the US Stock Market

See also:

Stock Market Collapse: More Goldman Sachs Market Rigging?!

Wall Street Emergency: Nasdaq to Cancel U.S. Trades That Moved More Than 60%

MUST HEAR: Panic And Loathing From The S&P 500 Pits


Chicago residents grew up to the sound of local early morning radio rundowns of pork belly futures and other exchange traded commodities. Every trick in the book from manipulation of soybeans to silver has played out in Chicago’s trading pits. Every market professional I’ve talked to in Chicago since Thursday is of the same opinion. It makes no difference whether human beings or computers are front running and manipulating trades. The gyrations in the market last week have the look and feel of classic market manipulation.

If you want to manipulate a market, deregulate it as much as possible. Then make it as “dark,” and fast as possible. Make it hard for outsiders to view your trades as they get done, and make it even harder for anyone to figure out why you are trading. Get as much monopoly power as possible over the market. Get funding at the cheapest possible rate. The best possible rate is the near zero cost funding available from the Federal Reserve.

Next, get your “men” stationed in the most influential positions at the exchanges. Make sure your cronies have shock and awe market dominance through, say, High Frequency Trading algorithms that now make up the majority of stock trades.

Then, make sure you have advance information of major market-moving events. A bailout announcement by the European Union would do nicely. A few days before the announcement, “bang” the market. Pound down the value so you can monetize put options and other bearish instruments. Trigger customers’ stop-loss orders, and pick up bargains at their expense. Then cash-in again when the market pops up on bailout news.

Read more‘Banging’ the US Stock Market

Stock Market Collapse: More Goldman Sachs Market Rigging?!

See also:

Wall Street Emergency: Nasdaq to Cancel U.S. Trades That Moved More Than 60%

MUST HEAR: Panic And Loathing From The S&P 500 Pits


Stock Market Collapse: More Goldman Market Rigging? (Huffington Post):

Manipulation by whom? Markets can be rigged with computers using high-frequency trading programs (HFT), which now compose 70% of market trading; and Goldman Sachs is the undisputed leader in this new gaming technique. Matt Taibbi maintains that Goldman Sachs has been “engineering every market manipulation since the Great Depression.” When Goldman does not get its way, it is in a position to throw a tantrum and crash the market. It can do this with automated market making technologies like the one invented by Max Keiser, which he claims is now being used to turbocharge market manipulation.

Whether Goldman Sachs actually crashed the market in this case will be left to conjecture, but Max Keiser explained in an email how it could theoretically be done:

Remove all the buy orders that you control (since HFT traffic is 70% of the order flow, if you simply pull your HFT buy orders, you remove a huge chunk of the market – in a heartbeat – leaving a sudden price vacuum). If you wanted to scare congress to vote the way you wanted them to vote – a congress that is directly invested in stocks trading on the exchange and ETF’s tied to the prices on the exchange – just pull your buys. When they do what you want them to do – replace your buys. If you want to make the market go up – pull your sell orders. It works both ways. (It’s all detailed in my Virtual Specialist Technology patent – how to make markets in an ‘infinite inventory environment.’)

Where Was Goldman’s Supplementary Liquidity Provider Team Yesterday? A Recap Of Goldman’s Program Trading Monopoly (Zero Hedge):

We have long claimed that Goldman is the de facto monopolist of the NYSE’s program trading platform. As such, it is certainly the case that Goldman was instrumental in either a) precipitating yesterday’s crash or b) not providing the critical liquidity which it is required to do, when the time came. There are no other options.

We will gladly work with any Attorney General to provide them all the critical data and questions they need to build a criminal case, or in the DOJ’s case, an anti-trust case.

Computerized Front-Running: How a Computer Program Designed to Save the Free Market Turned Into a Monster

Ellen Brown is the author of Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free. She can be reached through her website.



Market commentators are fond of talking about “free market capitalism,” but according to Wall Street commentator Max Keiser, it is no more.  It has morphed into what his TV co-host Stacy Herbert calls “rigged market capitalism”: all markets today are subject to manipulation for private gain.

Keiser isn’t just speculating about this.  He claims to have invented one of the most widely used programs for doing the rigging.  Not that that’s what he meant to invent.  His patented program was designed to take the manipulation out of markets.  It would do this by matching buyers with sellers automatically, eliminating “front running” – brokers buying or selling ahead of large orders coming in from their clients.  The computer program was intended to remove the conflict of interest that exists when brokers who match buyers with sellers are also selling from their own accounts.  But the program fell into the wrong hands and became the prototype for automated trading programs that actually facilitate front running.

Also called High Frequency Trading (HFT) or “black box trading,” automated program trading uses high-speed computers governed by complex algorithms (instructions to the computer) to analyze data and transact orders in massive quantities at very high speeds.  Like the poker player peeking in a mirror to see his opponent’s cards, HFT allows the program trader to peek at major incoming orders and jump in front of them to skim profits off the top.  And these large institutional orders are our money — our pension funds, mutual funds, and 401Ks.

When “market making” (matching buyers with sellers) was done strictly by human brokers on the floor of the stock exchange, manipulations and front running were considered an acceptable (if morally dubious) price to pay for continuously “liquid” markets.  But front running by computer, using complex trading programs, is an entirely different species of fraud.  A minor flaw in the system has morphed into a monster.  Keiser maintains that computerized front running with HFT has become the principal business of Wall Street and the primary force driving most of the volume on exchanges, contributing not only to a large portion of trading profits but to the manipulation of markets for economic and political ends.

The “Virtual Specialist”: the Prototype for High Frequency Trading

Until recently, most market making was done by brokers called “specialists,” those people you see on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange haggling over the price of stocks.  The job of the specialist originated over a century ago, when the need was recognized for a system for continuous trading.  That meant trading even when there was no “real” buyer or seller waiting to take the other side of the trade.

Read moreComputerized Front-Running: How a Computer Program Designed to Save the Free Market Turned Into a Monster

‘Goldman Sachs Spy’ INDICTED, Allegedly Stole Data On Bank’s Secret High-Frequency Trading Platform

It is really the Goldman Sachs banksters that should go to jail, because this is impossible:

Absolute Perfection: Goldman Sachs Loses Money On Just One Trading Day In Q3

Goldman Sachs: Trading Perfection And Statistical Improbabilities


Goldman Sachs Loses Grip on Its Doomsday Machine:

U.S. Attorney Joseph Facciponti told a federal magistrate judge at his July 4 bail hearing in New York. The 34-year-old prosecutor also dropped this bombshell: “The bank has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways.”

Guess what Goldman Sachs banksters are doing with the program! The markets are rigged and the real criminals never get punished.

Sergey Aleynikov

The reputed “Goldman Sachs Spy,” Sergey Aleynikov, was indicted today on charges that he stole the secrets to the bank’s closely guarded high-frequency trading platform.

(Scroll down for a link to Aleynikov’s wacky home videos and ballroom dancing clips.)

The platform, according to the indictment, gave Goldman Sachs a “competitive advantage” by executing high volumes of trades at breakneck speeds. Aleynikov, who could face 25 years in jail, was in charge of a group of computer programmers who maintained the bank’s trading platform. The platform reportedly generated “many millions” in profits each year.

According to the indictment, Aleynikov went to work for Teza, a newly-formed firm in Chicago, in April of 2009, and was tasked with developing a high-frequency trading platform for the company. With a pay package totaling $400,000 at Goldman Sachs, Aleynikov was certainly already well-compensated. Teza, however, offered him a guaranteed salary of $300,000, a guaranteed bonus of $700,000 and a profit-sharing agreement that was worth about $150,000.

Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan allege that Aleynikov, after 5 p.m. on his last day at Goldman Sachs, “executed the transfer of thousands of lines of source code for Goldman’s high-frequency trading system.” And, the indictment alleges, he skirted Goldman’s security apparatus by uploading the source code files to a server in Germany.

Aleynikov then encrypted the files and, several days later, logged onto a computer from his home in New Jersey and downloaded Goldman’s proprietary data. He then carried that data into a meeting with Teza workers, according to the indictment.

In November, the government indicated that it was discussing a plea deal with Aleynikov that might have resulted in little or no jail time,reported Reuters.

Zero Hedge wonders whether or not a trial will reveal some crucial details of Goldman Sachs’s secret sauce:

Read more‘Goldman Sachs Spy’ INDICTED, Allegedly Stole Data On Bank’s Secret High-Frequency Trading Platform

The Illuminati Banksters: JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs

JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs: Why the Market Was Down for 7 Days in a Row

goldman-sachs jpmorgan

We are witnessing an epic battle between two banking giants, JPMorgan Chase (Paul Volcker) and Goldman Sachs (Geithner/Summers/Rubin). Left strewn on the battleground could be your pension fund and 401K.

The late Libertarian economist, Murray Rothbard, wrote that U.S. politics since 1900, when William Jennings Bryan narrowly lost the presidency, has been a struggle between two competing banking giants, the Morgans and the Rockefellers. The parties would sometimes change hands, but the puppeteers pulling the strings were always one of these two big-money players. No popular third party candidate had a real chance at winning, because the bankers had the exclusive power to create the national money supply and therefore held the winning cards.

In 2000, the Rockefellers and the Morgans joined forces, when JPMorgan and Chase Manhattan merged to become JPMorgan Chase Co. Today the battling banking titans are JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, an investment bank that gained notoriety for its speculative practices in the 1920s. In 1928, it launched the Goldman Sachs Trading Corp., a closed-end fund similar to a Ponzi scheme. The fund failed in the stock market crash of 1929, marring the firm’s reputation for years afterwards. Former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin, and Larry Summers all came from Goldman, and current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rose through the ranks of government as a Summers/Rubin protégé. One commentator called the U.S. Treasury “Goldman Sachs South.”

Read moreThe Illuminati Banksters: JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs

High Frequency Trading Raises Meltdown Fears

Meltdown? Fear?

“We are doing God’s work!”

(Click on image to enlarge.)

(Financial Times) — An explosion in trading propelled by computers is raising fears that trading platforms could be knocked out by rogue trades triggered by systems running out of control.

Trading in equities and derivatives is being driven increasingly by mathematical algorithms used in computer programs. They allow trading to take place automatically in response to market data and news, deciding when and how much to trade similar to the autopilot function in aircraft.

Analysts estimate that up to 60 per cent of trading in equity markets is driven in this way.

Concerns have been highlighted by news that NYSE Euronext, the transatlantic exchange operator, has fined Credit Suisse proprietary trading arm for the first time for failing to control its trading algorithms. In the Credit Suisse case, its system bombarded the NYSE’s systems with hundreds of thousands of “erroneous messages” in 2007, slowing down trading in 975 shares.

The case was far from isolated, say traders. CME Group, the Chicago-based futures exchange, is investigating a case this month where a trader in “mini” S&P Index futures contracts “inadvertently traded approximately 200,000 contracts as both buyer and seller”.

Last year, the London Stock Exchange suffered a three-hour outage after its trading system collapsed under the strain of a huge volume of orders. Some traders blamed the spike in volumes from algorithmic trading.

Frederic Ponzo, managing partner at GreySpark Partners, a consultancy, said: “It is absolutely possible to bring an exchange to breaking point by having an ‘algo’ entering into a loop so that by sending them at such a rate the exchange can’t cope.”

Read moreHigh Frequency Trading Raises Meltdown Fears