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First Published in Automated Trader Magazine Issue 13 Q2 2009

Scribes and soothsayers have been analysing trades since the first cargo of spices was unloaded from the first camel train. But would their work have been any easier if they’d had laptops?

William Essex looks for simplicity in the evolving complexity of pre-, post-, and above all during-trade analysis.

Tomorrow's historians will argue themselves hoarse debating the causes of the first truly global financial upheaval. There will be books written on the fallacies of early twenty-first century risk management, for example; on hedge-funds and the short-selling ban; on politicians and bankers; on the contribution of automated and algorithmic trading to the recovery. And then, when all the big subjects are exhausted, some post-grad student might just stumble across the odd correlation (if that's

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