Peek Ahead Articles - Automated Trader

‘Peek Ahead’ Algorithmic Trading Articles & Financial Insight

Peek Ahead is AT's "footnote" - a one page column that takes a less than entirely serious look at aspects of the automated/algorithmic trading industry.

  • Peek ahead - To Catch a SpooferPeek ahead - To Catch a Spoofer

    The first response to Peek Ahead's inquiries after the flash crash trader arrest was: "What a load of bollocks." As it turned out, that pretty much summed up the industry's viewpoint.

  • Peek Ahead: Surprise! It's the central bankPeek Ahead: Surprise! It's the central bank

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYCentral banks are full of surprises. Remember when Switzerland's central bank unpegged the franc from the euro? You might have seen a little news story about it here and there. The euro and USD plunged almost 30% against the franc immediately after, causing chaos in FX markets around the world.

  • The digital currency (r)evolutionThe digital currency (r)evolution

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYIf bitcoin is the BitTorrent of cryptocurrencies, what's going to be the Spotify?

  • Anonymous insiders love to gossip

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYHas there ever been a story with more anonymous sources than the recent leaks about Goldman's bid to oust Instant Bloomberg?

  • Big screens and little screensBig screens and little screens

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYMost high frequency traders probably don't know the name Scott Rudin, but perhaps they should. In Hollywood, Rudin is a very big deal. According to a flurry of press reports, Rudin and Sony Pictures have been looking to acquire the rights to 'Flash Boys' by Michael Lewis.

  • All you need is alphaAll you need is alpha

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYWhen Mark Wetjen was elected as acting chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the first thing that occurred to us was George Harrison.

  • Lawyers to the rescue!

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYWhat's the difference between a lawyer and a mosquito? One's a blood-sucking parasite, the other is an insect. What's the difference between a lawyer and a liar? Pronunciation.

  • Peek ahead: Now playing at a cinema near you...

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYIn the latest installment of Peek Ahead, we consider the long and sometimes uneasy relationship between markets and movies.

  • Markets all a TwitterMarkets all a Twitter

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYAs market-moving hoaxes go, the recent White House tweet ranks right up there. Peek Ahead asks a couple of machine-readable news experts about the implications of the Tweet that Shook Wall Street.

  • Dodd Frankly

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYLanguage matters. When people start talking about putting customers first or fighting for level playing fields, should you be worried? Everyone, it seems, is talking their books.

  • Peek ahead: Dazed by data

    Peek Ahead grapples with a variety of topics, from sarcasm to cheese fondue to swords. For good measure, we've thrown in a handy guide to some of those troublesome acronyms.

  • It's just a matter of time...

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYIf you're reading this, you almost certainly know a good deal about time. It's a central part of the algorithmic trading business, right? In this edition of Peek Ahead, we ask whether the the people charged with regulating you know much about time.

  • Stop struggling!Stop struggling!

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYWhere there's a will there's a rarity, in the cautious world of future-gazing.

  • New model wantedNew model wanted

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYThose overpaid layabouts in what used to be called the broom cupboard have finally come up with a prediction. And it’s a good one. Whatever next?

  • Cloud WoculandCloud Woculand

    FREE ARTICLEPeek ahead

  • IT loversIT lovers

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYThere’s something moving in the IT Department. And what’s that eerie music? Kill the lights and let’s split up.

  • Passionate about peeking

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYSwirling incense and a lot of passionate peeking this month. Just mind that butterfly!

  • Lights, camera, EnronLights, camera, Enron

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYThe smartest guy out of the office might be leaving his island at last.

  • Shimmy shimmy shakedown

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYGet ready for the TBtbTAP!

  • That cat’s still breathing!That cat’s still breathing!

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYHas anybody told the news feeds that it's all over?

  • What do we know?What do we know?

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYYou couldn’t make it up – or could you? Maybe it’s time to stop thinking outside the box and start watching it instead.

  • The way we shouldn't have been

    SUBSCRIBERS ONLYEditor’s note: Peek Ahead is our venue for blue-sky thinking, challenging conventional wisdom and out-and-out disagreeing over key industry issues. If you would like to comment, or disagree, or send in some of your own blue-sky thinking, write to Where appropriate, contributions will be published on this page and/or on the website.

  • Just a lot of hot air?Just a lot of hot air?

    QUALIFIED REGISTRANTS & SUBSCRIBERSWhy, in the era of webinars, wikipedia and, do people still go to conferences?

  • The Blame GameThe Blame Game

    REGISTERED VIEWERSWhen things go wrong, the reflex reaction is to apportion blame. When things go wrong in the financial markets, who will the regulators be pointing their fingers at?

  • In MiFID we Trust In MiFID we Trust

    REGISTERED VIEWERSThis issue of AT coincides with another attempt by Europe to become a little bit more like America. No, not Tony Blair’s hopes of being elected President of Europe just in time to see Bill and Hillary move back into the White House. Rather, that slightly less foolhardy European Union initiative, MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive), which aims – as one of the pillars of a single European investment market – to allow Europeans to shop around between rival trading venues to get the best price for their favourite stocks and shares.

  • Less Smoke; More MirrorsLess Smoke; More Mirrors

    REGISTERED VIEWERSLets start with a quick multiple-choice quiz. What are Cobra, Ambush, Arid, Nocturnal and Covert? A) The line-up for a heavy rock weekender? B) A new range of toiletries for adolescent boys? or C) A new five-part Iraq War saga by Andy McNab? The answer of course is D) all of the above. Oh, and they’re also the names of algorithms, too. Add in a few references to dark books and deep pools of liquidity and you begin to understand how staff at certain marketing departments (mis)spent their youth.

  • Latency: The Hands-on ApproachLatency: The Hands-on Approach

    FREE ARTICLEObviously here at AT we get a lot of press releases along the lines of “XXX announces the launch of latency busting YYY data feed/network/event processing engine that can process 10 billion messages/data points per nanosecond”.

  • Peek Ahead: DIY DisasterPeek Ahead: DIY Disaster

    FREE ARTICLEHow one fund house's attempt to build its own algos proved a rocky road to reality.

  • Peek Ahead: A Misleading Glimpse of the FuturePeek Ahead: A Misleading Glimpse of the Future

    FREE ARTICLE“AT pays a visit to a seriously secretive organisation and sees a human free vision of the automated trading future. Or possibly not…”

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