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The rise of high frequency trading: making money from milliseconds

The rise of high frequency trading: making money from milliseconds

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Wired takes a look at the kind of high-frequency trading blamed for the huge fluctuations in stock prices witnessed in early August.

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Dymaxion, Tradeworx, Spread Networks, "dark fiber" — today’s markets are governed by the financial engineers and faster infrastructure that can reliably shave a few thousandths of a second off of a trade. Wired takes a look at the world of "high frequency trading" — where no investment that saves time is too expensive, and trades don’t even have to be profitable to be worthwhile. As markets converge toward a millisecond-order Keynesian beauty contest, today’s fortunes in finance are won and lost not on a single throw of the dice, but millions.