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Tom Steinert-Threlkeld

Mind Over Model

May 20, 2013

No matter what happens with the rest of this Greatest Recession Since the Depression let’s stop trying to blame it on runaway quantum finance. Math is not the problem. It gives answers. It provides precision (sometimes illusory). And, translated into computer coding, it runs endlessly and tirelessly. But somebody had to make it up in the first place. And maintain it. And manage it.

The Lloyd Blankfein Show

May 6, 2013

The chief executive of Goldman Sachs does some standup, sitting down at the Investment Company Institute's general membership meeting Thursday.

The Future of Funds

April 17, 2013

Mutual funds are not going away. But their business model is in the midst of a long-term, momentous and, most likely, irrevocable shift.

Attention, Fund Directors: Are You Overstretched?

March 19, 2013

The SEC's Norm Champ says he and risk assessors will be asking "tough questions" of fund directors to make sure their attention is not be stretched too thinly.

Net Asset Value Of Stocks

February 21, 2013

When it comes to disclosure, everyone's for transparency. But that doesn't mean that fund boards know what's in the trades their brokers have completed for the customers.

Take Stock. Now.

February 6, 2013

When the S&P 500 hits 1,500, watch out.

Bursting the Bond Bubble

January 23, 2013

A Great Rotation into stocks may bring an end to the greatest bull run in bond history.

Trade Through Not Through

January 15, 2013

The "trade through" rule rolled out in 2007 is not going away, even if it adds operational complexity to markets. Even if it is unnecessary.

Out of the Shadows on Money Fund Reform

January 9, 2013

Goldman Sachs is showing a potential way out of the logjam on whether or not to float the net asset value of shares of money market mutual fund shares.

Putting 2013 on ICE

December 21, 2012

A new round of card-playing will ensue, now that the Intercontinental Exchange is primed to take over the New York Stock Exchange by this time next year.

Rejoice! No Gloom in Doom

December 14, 2012

The future has a habit of obliterating forecasts that the end is at hand.

Exiting the Stage, Right

December 5, 2012

Money fund reform is not going away, after Schapiro departs. But then again, neither is the SEC.

The Halo of Real Money

November 19, 2012

Go to your nearest high-quality university. Find out who the 10 top math geniuses are. Invite them to a party. Drop in a bunch of X-boxes. Find your next star trader.

The Human Touch

October 31, 2012

We all live now in always-on markets. But they don't have to be always on.

The Human Touch

October 31, 2012

We all live now in always-on markets. But they don't have to be always on.

Hey! You Wanna Fight?

October 25, 2012

Think operations managers don't get enough respect?

Go demand the respect, contends Gerard McGraw.

Benefit of Cost-Benefit Analysis

October 9, 2012

Exactly why does anybody not want to make a stab at figuring out whether the costs outweigh the benefits of changes that radically reshape an industry?

A Snap in Time

September 27, 2012

If you can’t make your mind up about the “long term” prospects of a stock when you have 7,200 opportunities every hour (in a half-second world), you’re way too indecisive

15 Seconds of Infamy

September 25, 2012

Why opening up a swaps trade to a 15-second delay is behind the times, even in illiquid markets. And could undermine capital formation.

Automating Ideas (and Their Results)

September 12, 2012

When something changes in the world and there is a new regime, the question is who is going to respond to it first.

An Open Letter
to Mary Schapiro

September 10, 2012

How to keep markets fast, while taking speed out of the equation. And, in the process, putting minds back into thinking about what stock markets are really about.

This Just In. Or Not.

September 5, 2012

Nasdaq OMX Group probably has its report from IBM on the state of all its information systems, commissioned in the aftermath of the Facebook IPO difficulties. But you may never know.

There's Something About Mary
... And Her Money Fund Reforms

August 29, 2012

SEC chairman Mary Schapiro cashed out last week on money fund reform. Or did she?

Hot Air, Trial Balloons and October 15

August 22, 2012

On October 15, the Legal Entity Identifier Implementation Group holds an "operational solution demonstration day" in Basel, Switzerland.

Stop for a Second

August 15, 2012

Call me crazy. But investing doesn’t have to happen – and won’t happen – in a microsecond.

Capital Buffers Not a Bluff

August 8, 2012

Breaking the $1 a share value of a money fund could break the industry. But capital buffers would not.

Pause, Reset, Resume

August 1, 2012

Before technology disruptions stall or stop what's left of confidence in capital markets, it's time for the industry to cooperate on holistic means of preventing them.

Throwing Around LEIs

July 25, 2012

The first competition to become a central operating authority for registering and distributing ID codes for securities market participants goes to DTCC and SWIFT. Now the fun begins

So It Goes. Or Doesn’t.

July 17, 2012

Each time a crisis hits capital markets, the stunning part too often is how few checks and balances there are in place. Particularly when writing a check for the balance wouldn’t be so tough.

CAT Fight?

July 11, 2012

The SEC has finally mandated creation of a consolidated audit trail (CAT). Now comes the fun part: The participants in creating the plan may also be competitors in bidding to create the system.

Confidence, the Capricious Commodity

July 2, 2012

Why is it capital markets can talk about a crisis in confidence, but seem unable to do much about it?

Getting In Front of (Automatic) Front-Running

June 27, 2012

High-frequency trading is just getting defined. But front-running already is. And there should not be an exclusion for automated applications of it.

Race to Zero … Value?

June 20, 2012

The speed of moving data in and out of devices executing trades is now being measure in nanoseconds. But the race to zero speed may have “zero social value.”

Legal Entity Identifiers:
Not a 'Big Data' Project

June 15, 2012

You could store the entire database on a thumb drive in your pocket. The challenge is not technical.

Anywhere, But Up in the Air

June 11, 2012

Nasdaq OMX chief Robert Greifeld got taken to task for being on a plane when SEC chairman Mary Schapiro called about Facebook. Anywhere else is an office.

When Size Matters

June 8, 2012

If large blocks matter to you, it's a pretty clear call you get to make on where to move it.

Wall Street Rules
Its Own Brain Drain

June 5, 2012

Regulation has its price. So does creating a credit crisis. Wall Street shops are now finding they have to assign a lot of their best minds to coming up with the systems to adhere to new rules. Instead of innovating.

Facing Up to a Real Time Trail

May 30, 2012

The technical and pricing disruptions that have given the Facebook IPO a bad name make the case self-evident for a real-time stock market audit trail.

IDs on Overdrive

May 25, 2012

You don't need 20 digits to identify 1 million companies. But we're getting 'em. That could be a good thing.

Before the Fact

May 23, 2012

Capital markets needs to coordinate responses to technology accidents, before they happen. Not just after.

Can’t Anyone Stage an IPO Anymore?

May 18, 2012

Nasdaq was going to prove its technical superiority over BATS Global Markets, which couldn’t even get its own shares launched. On its plate: Facebook shares. And, even after repeated testing, it couldn’t launch on time.

Get Ready for Entity Name Servers

May 14, 2012

There are 900 registrars of domain names, worldwide. The same could happen with legal entity name servers, for financial markets

Why Price is Right

May 9, 2012

Here's how one manager, in automating his own strategy, eschewed market cap as the basis for picking stocks for an index fund. For Brian K. Evans, it's share price that matters.

Low Speed for High Speed

May 1, 2012

Sunday will mark the second anniversary of the Flash Crash that occurred on May 6, 2010. The SEC and CFTC haven't even begun to review high-speed automated trading practices.

Don’t Count on Volatility

April 25, 2012

Stock markets thrive just fine, without it. The key to regaining volume is to regain confidence.

BlackRock Answers its Own Call

April 18, 2012

BlackRock chairman Laurence D. Fink looks for a genie to re-awaken investing, long-term. And finds one.

The Social Exchange

April 11, 2012

Suddenly, social media is everywhere on Wall Street. Some times to communicate. Mostly to trade, for profit. Next up: exchange operations. Then, what?

The $0.0002 Bid for BATS

April 2, 2012

Eyes can get deceived in fractions of a second. But bids of 0.0002 a share do appear to have hit the BATS Exchange for BATS shares on March 23.

Code Making & Breaking

March 27, 2012

BATS shot itself in the foot, with faulty code. But what disruptive code never gets the glare of public scrutiny?

Bad Day at BATS

March 23, 2012

Its own shares. Its own exchange. Its own technology. And it can’t stage its own I.P.O.

The Stupidity Risk

March 22, 2012

In all the discussions of the operational forces that can create corporate and systemic risk, one rarely gets mentioned.

Storminess, With Cunning Answers in Chicago

March 14, 2012

If you want a “stormy, husky, brawling,” answer to a problem, just turn to the Heart of America.

Indexing the New Normal

March 6, 2012

The new normal, SWIFT chief executive Lazaro Campos says, is “we don’t know where we’re heading.’’ But his cooperative could signal the next disruption, before it happens.

Small Step. Big Change.

February 29, 2012

The Large Trader Reporting Rule requires just two pieces of new information to be sent in to SEC. But it may not be that easy.

You Say You Want a Revolution

February 22, 2012

Next week, the world changes for exchange-traded funds. On March 1, Bill Gross gets into the game.

Never a Moment to Lose

February 15, 2012

Low latency has led to narrower spreads. But now it comes to the spreading of ideas -- and spare moments.

The Facebook Bet

February 8, 2012

Is Facebook more formidable than Google? Here’s why Facebook is looking stouter to a lot of fund managers, investors and technologists, in a face-off of numbers

Missed Opportunity in DB-NYSE Quasi-Monopoly

February 1, 2012

Long live the 90% control of the European derivatives market that DB and NYSE would have enjoyed. It wouldn't have lasted.

Breaking Bad: The Problem with Pre-Swap Guarantees

January 25, 2012

Why accepting swaps for clearing after a trade is executed may be simpler. At least for now.

Inverting Reality of ETFs

January 18, 2012

There’s logic in thinking that trading in funds that promise double or triple the movement of the market will exacerbate the swings that occur. But it would invert reality.

The Value of Volatility

January 11, 2012

Most people see the wide swings of prices of stocks and say there is volatility in the market. The CBOE instead has found there is a market for volatility.

Bonding With Bonds

January 4, 2012

Fixed-income products are the new darlings of investors. Which means ... more scrutiny of transactions is likely forthcoming.

Last Second Idea

December 21, 2011

Mary Schapiro: Looking for a last second solution to your high-speed trading gift shopping quest? Here's one. Every second auctions.

Stamping Out Speed

December 16, 2011

The Hong Kong Exchanges Friday completed its upgrade to a new high-performance trading system. But don’t expect it to appeal necessarily to microsecond traders.

2012: The Year of Recovery. Again.

December 12, 2011

Predictions are easiest to assess, when a year is over.

BATS’ Backup Plan

December 7, 2011

In the case of BATS Europe and its outage this week, it proved not to be a plan.

The Billion-Dollar Rogue Algo

November 30, 2011

The cost of the Securities and Exchange Commission's consolidated audit trail of securities transaction will go up, if an algo happens to go wild. Don't bet against it.

This Next Meal

November 21, 2011

We should not be thankful that the ingredients for this nation's new fiscal diet haven't been prepared.

The Code That Needs to be Written

November 16, 2011

The silly season is nearly upon us. And the systems still aren't in place yet that will allow Wall Street to fix itself.

Open Outcry Makes Comeback

November 9, 2011

The “open outcry” system is back. It’s just embedded in an electronic trading system.

The One Percent That Matters

November 2, 2011

Let’s make no mistake: It’s hard – very hard – to run always-on high-speed high-performance electronic exchanges. Period.

Nasdaq Needs to Execute Triple Play

October 27, 2011

If Nasdaq wants to build a lasting technology business, it's got to make sure its customers have failsafe "network connectivity."

Avoiding Strike Three

October 18, 2011

Regular assets under management didn't include leverage. But regulated assets under management will.

Bye, Bye Spreadsheet

October 12, 2011

The green columnar pad is next to extinct. So soon will be the stand-alone spreadsheet. Here's why.

Whipping a Frenzy

October 5, 2011

Wall Street firms are everyone’s favorite whipping posts. Just ask Occupy Wall Street, Anonymous Hackers or the New York state attorney general. But the frenzy can be tamed, in at least one case, with better numbers.

Operations Folks Should Not Grow Up to Be Cowboys

September 28, 2011

It’s sad, but true. There ought to be a Volcker Rule between the front and back offices.

Taking Data to the Bank

September 21, 2011

SWIFT tries to turn data and online identities into a new business: digital asset banks.

The Business With Bigness

September 13, 2011

Size breeds complexity, making the largest financial institutions’ operations impossible to understand, much less administer, observes John Chen.

The Bond Store

September 7, 2011

Baby Boomers are about to go into retirement. George O’Krepkie thinks he’s riding the boom of a coming bull market in loans of all types.

Answering the Call of 9/11

August 29, 2011

Ten years in, the challenge remains: never to forget. Here's a way to meet the challenge.

Speaking Volumes

August 22, 2011

The securities industry likes volume. It dislikes volatility. Can it have one without the other?

As the Crow Flies

August 17, 2011

The straightest path matters to Michael Persico. He brokers light.

Stop. To Think.

August 15, 2011

Where is it written in the Constitution (or securities law) that markets have to be open continuously, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.? A modest proposal, to avoid whipsaw in millisecond markets.

When Large Traders Fail to Appear

August 1, 2011

Could large traders simply split up their orders, so they don’t appear to be so large? Unanswered questions about the SEC’s Large Trader Rule.

Finding Good DADs

July 25, 2011

Over-the-counter stock markets are trying to grow up. So, now the offspring of pink sheets are looking to create a slew of DADS.

Out of the Shadows

July 18, 2011

Why is it that “high-frequency” trading jangles nerves so much?

ETFs vs. Mutual Funds

July 11, 2011

Unless high-speed professional trading somehow leads to more Flash Crashes and everybody decides they need complete liquidity on all investments, how fast you can get in and out of these funds should not matter much.

Greifeld, Back in the Driver's Seat

June 29, 2011

Let’s see how just good a driver you are, Bob Greifeld, now that you get a third chance to figure out a way to merge with the London Stock Exchange. And for both sides, not just one, come out winners.

Getting Real on Algo Testing

June 20, 2011

Even Dr. John Bates of Progress Software was consternated about the results of this survey, released at the outset of the SIFMA Tech show last week.

Trading Capacity in 'Very Good Place'

June 15, 2011

Fear not. Brokers who geared up for continued growth in share volume are still ready. Bring on the 30-billion share day.

Redefining Market Making

June 13, 2011

Ever since the Flash Crash, there's been talk of mandating some sort of responsibility to make markets in stocks on the companies that account for the lion's share of liquidity in modern electronic markets. There's another way, in electronic markets.

Stamford and the World's Largest Trading Floor

June 10, 2011

Will Stamford, Conn., lose the world's largest trading floor, if UBS leaves town? Don't bet on it.

Retail Investing, the iPhone Way

June 8, 2011

Now, you have to come up with an app that lets your customers shop at Wal-Mart or the mall -- and invest the savings with you.

The Math of Philosophy

May 27, 2011

Descartes postulated, "I think therefore I am." Now, if my newly minted graduate son is any indication, the modern equivalent in philosophy has to be: I code, therefore I am.

The Accidental Advantage of Naivete

December 28, 2009

Some times, itís better not to know what you donít know about financial markets. Then, you might just do things right.

A Year of Trading, Every Day

December 21, 2009

When you break it down, what high-frequency trading is breaking down each trading day into the equivalent of a year of trading (or, you could contend, multiple years). And, you cash out, at the end of each year, er, each day.

Wall Street 2(009)

December 14, 2009

On the ground floor of the building in which this is being typed, Oliver Stone has set up shop. Barely a stoneís throw from the New York Stock Exchange and in direct eyeshot of the Statue of Liberty, the movie producer is at it again. Heís shooting Wall Street 2. But he may be looking for "villainy" in the wrong place.

A DTCC For Trading Issues?

December 9, 2009

If thereís one piece of new regulation you can probably expect to see come out of the Securities and Exchange Commission early next year, it will be a set of rules on how ďsponsored accessĒ has to be controlled. Itís not too late to determine who controls the controls.

Twilight Saga for Ponzi Schemes

December 3, 2009

If the securities industry is determined enough, it could easily include algorithms that track every use, every transfer of an investorís dollars between accounts at an investment firm and how those dollars were used. And block Ponzi schemes like Bernie Madoff's or even Tom Petters' from getting off the ground.

Mind Over Model

November 30, 2009

No matter what happens with the rest of this Greatest Recession Since the Depression letís stop trying to blame it on runaway quantum finance. Math is not the problem. It gives answers. It provides precision (sometimes illusory). And, translated into computer coding, it runs endlessly and tirelessly. But somebody had to make it up in the first place. And maintain it. And manage it.