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The Microgeographies of Global Finance: High Frequency Trading, ICTs and the Construction of Information Inequality

Date & Time:
15:00:00 - 16:00:00,
Thursday 20 February, 2014


Automated high frequency trading (HFT) has grown tremendously in the past twenty years and is responsible for about half of all trading activities at stock exchanges worldwide. Geography has been absolutely central to the rise of HFT due to a market design of ‘continuous trading’ that allows traders to engage in arbitrage based upon informational advantages constructed via differences in time-space compression. Enormous investments have been made in ICTs and optimizing computer architectures, all in an effort to shave milliseconds of travel time (or latency) within and between markets. Defenders of HFT point to a number of associated benefits such as liquidity, efficiency and lower transaction costs but these same advantages can be achieved by other means that also eliminate the information asymmetries and risk produced by continuous trading. We outline such an alternative market design – daily auctions – that directly addresses the fundamental role of geography in stock trading, and enables more equitable participation in stock markets.

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  • Name: Dr Matthew A. Zook|Dr Michael H. Grote
  • Affiliation: University of Kentucky, Department of Geography|Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
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