The Amazing World of Financial Trading

Some twenty years ago my father visited New York. He was an economist by profession so it is not a big surprise that out of many exciting things New York has on offer, my father was impressed the most with New York Stock Exchange trading floor. Soon after this visit he acquired a stock broker license and later participated in the first Slovenian stock boom that has abruptly ended in 1996 with the collapse of Dadas (whose founder committed suicide just yesterday). Personally, I remember the most vividly about my father's visit to New York order forms that he brought back with funny acronyms such as OTC and NYSE. I was fascinated with financial industry ever since and I might very well end working for some financial institution some day. At the time of my father's visit the stocks were still mostly traded by human brokers yelling at each other on the trading floor. But since then the nature of financial trading has lost almost all its human component and it is now done almost entirely by an army of autonomous trading systems. As demonstrated on the following chart taken from a brilliant talk by John O'Hara (of AMQP fame) at QCon London especially in the last 6-7 years the nature of financial trading has completely changed.

equity_transaction_volume

If there wouldn' t be for the financial collapse of 2008 the robots might have already taken over the world by now. Thus, we will have to wait a few more year for this to happen. If there's one place  where we can expert strong AI to come to life, hedge funds would be my first bet.

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