A follow up story related to a book review we posted in September 2012:
- Book: Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World!
- The book includes a discussion of high speed trading algorithms and how folks are working to regulate it, yet apparently the regulations aren't quite fast enough as the high speed traders have apparently broken the speed of light??!!!
- "Last Wednesday, the Fed announced that it would not be tapering its bond buying program. This news was released at precisely 2 p.m. in Washington "as measured by the national atomic clock." It takes seven milliseconds for this information to get to Chicago. However, several huge orders that were based on the Fed's decision were placed on Chicago exchanges two to three milliseconds after 2 p.m. How did this happen?"
- "In a related vein, let's talk a bit more about this seven millisecond figure. That might very well be how long it takes a signal to travel from Washington, DC, to Chicago via a fiber-optic cable, but in fact the two cities are only 960 kilometers apart. At the speed of light, that's 3.2 milliseconds. A straight line path would be a bit less, perhaps 3 milliseconds. So maybe someone has managed to set up a neutrino communications network that transmits directly through the earth. It couldn't transfer very much information, but if all you needed was a few dozen bits (taper/no taper, interest rates up/down, etc.) it might work a treat. Did anyone happen to notice an extra neutrino flux in the upper Midwest corridor at 2 p.m. last Wednesday? Perhaps Wall Street has now co-opted not just the math geek community, and not just the physics geek community, but the experimental physics geek community. Wouldn't that be great?"