Meet the New Market Makers, Same as the Old Market Makers (‘Dark Pools’ Review)

As Mercenary Trader reported, Dark Pool is a fun, intelligent, beach weekend read.

Apart from the obvious Wall Street / HFT focus, the book struck me as a cross between War Games, The Matrix, and Terminator: Rise of the Machines.

You immediately enter a world of high tech mayhem, with super-algos, blaster bots, and hunter-sniper cloaking devices duking it out at the speed of light.

Re, War Games parallels, you get an iconoclastic, vaguely teenage anti-hero – Josh Levine, the misift-hacker-genius creator of Island – who pursues an idealistic vision of “making markets free,” with no impure thoughts of capitalistic gain, until one day his mutated ECN creation all but comes alive and says: “Good morning, Professor Falken. Do you want to play a game?”

Re, Matrix parallels, by the end of the book we have fast-forwarded from the humble beginnings of electronic trading to the near birth of AI (artificial intelligence)… the “desert of the real” (in this case the real being markets)… and the grand vision of supervillainesque networked undersea substructures, monitoring global data flows from strategic ocean points all around the globe.

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