Once upon a time, or, more precisely, just some 20 years ago, “data” was a term reserved for magnetic tapes and numerous governance committees, engaged in weekly discussions on the best ways to name data fields in order to accommodate the universe of financial products. Fast forward to today, and, surprise, many financial firms still engage in the same practices. Extensive data governance committees spar over what is the optimal way to write out a name of a listed option and how that should differ from the requirements of a custom “over-the-counter” derivative. Much of the latest CFTC Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) discussion focused onRead More →

The new revelations surrounding the Flash Crash of May 6, 2010, once again brought to light an undeniable fact: U.S. regulators desperately need to boost their real-time surveillance capabilities. Nearly five years has elapsed between the time the London-based Navinder Singh Sarao, allegedly influenced the Flash Crash and the government identification of this event! Gone are the days when market issues could be analyzed by a team watching for on-screen images of market events. Regulatory agencies are ill-equipped to handle real-time issues in a timely manner. However, market solutions, such as AbleMarkets.com suite of real-time products are designed to spot market microstructure issues, such asRead More →

By Irene Aldridge Opinions on high-frequency trading still run the gamut. On one end of the spectrum we find individuals such as Mark Cuban, a successful Dallas-based businessman, who recently proclaimed that he is afraid of high-frequency traders. Mr. Cuban’s fears are based on his belief that high-frequency traders are nothing more than “hackers,” seeking to game the markets and take unfair advantage of systems and investors. On the other extreme are employers in the financial services industry. Just open the “Jobs” page in “Money and Investment” section in the Wall Street Journal, and all you will find are job postings seeking talent for high-frequencyRead More →

By Irene Aldridge About the time of the “flash crash” of May 6, 2010, many small investors appear to have left the U.S. stock markets, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. The Financial Reform Bill, passed and celebrated with much fanfare last week, is sometimes thought to help bring those investors and their cash back into the equity markets. This articles takes a close look at the likely causes underlying the investor exodus, the Bill and its probable effect on investor behavior. First, a bit about the Bill. The Financial Reform Bill is certainly an accomplishment for the current administration. Earning a consensusRead More →