Donnerstag, 26. September 2013

High-Speed Computer-Trading

Der Skandal um die einige Millisekunden, bevor es eigentlich hätte möglich sein können, ausgeführten Handelsgeschäfte an der Börse in Chicago gibt neuen Anlass zur Diskussion über den Nutzen einiger Segmente des modernen Börsenhandels.
Neil Irwin scheibt dazu in der Washington Post:
"[...] there's another useful lesson out of the whole episode.

It is the reality of how much trading activity, particularly of the ultra-high-frequency variety is really a dead weight loss for society.

Capital markets exist to serve the real economy: [...]

There is a role in these markets for traders whose work is more speculative. Having opportunistic traders in the markets always watching for mispricings can be beneficial to the real companies and individuals looking to save or invest [...].

But when taken to its logical extremes, such as computers exploiting five millisecond advantages in the transfer of market-moving information, it's much less clear that society gains anything. Five milliseconds, Wikipedia tells me, is about the time it takes a honeybee to flap its wings. Once.

In the high-frequency trading business, billions of dollars are spent on high-speed lines, programming talent, and advanced computers by funds looking to capitalize on the smallest and most fleeting of mispricings. Those are computing resources and insanely intelligent people who could instead be put to work making the Internet run faster for everyone, or figuring out how to distribute electricity more efficiently, or really anything other than trying to figure out how to trade gold futures on the latest Fed announcement faster than the speed of light."
Ich habe mir die Frage auch seit Jahren immer wieder gestellt. Wo ist der gesamtwirtschaftliche Nutzen, wenn eine Information ein paar Millisekunden früher eingepreist wird? Oder andersrum: Wo entsteht der gesellschaftliche Schaden, wenn eine Information etwas später - und seien es ein paar Sekunden - in aktuelle Preise übersetzt wird?

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