The Gateway to Algorithmic and Automated Trading

It's just a matter of time...

Published in Automated Trader Magazine Issue 26 Q3 2012

If 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.

You've probably heard the story of the two campers in the woods who suddenly see a bear. As the bear heads towards them, one of the two drops his backpack and digs out a pair of sneakers. "What are you doing? You can't outrun that bear," the other camper says. "I don't need to outrun the bear," the first one says. "I just need to outrun you."

If you're reading this, you almost certainly know a good deal about time. It's a central part of the algorithmic trading business, right? Question is, do the people charged with regulating you know much about it? Given the sheer amount of regulation they are trying to cram into such a short period, and the implications if they get it all wrong, we can't help but wonder whether time management is one of their fortes.

We decided to do some homework on the question of time and judgment. There's no shortage of academic studies about how deadlines affect decision-making. In one that caught our eye , the authors wrote : "Under time pressure, most studies report an increased selectivity of input and information."

Sounds familiar.

So is that one way of saying there's a good chance the regulators are not getting the full picture? Kay Swinburne, a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Economic & Monetary Affairs, is hoping that might change with the Foresight project (www.fa5t.net/1ay), which you can read all about on page 38. Swinburne is one of the project's stakeholders....

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