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The Wall Street Code

   2013    Science
Super quick computers and advanced mathematical formulas have taken over trading on the financial markets from human beings -algorithms- which seem to have a life of their own. The only ones who understand the system in any way are its architects, the algorithm developers. Haim Bodek is one such algo-developer. After finding some strange wrongdoings he set out on a personal crusade against this elusive system". The machinery behind our financial markets, consisting of mathematical models, data centers and miles and miles of fiber optic cables, is disguised by technological complexity and secrecy. The builders of this financial system are a new breed of Wall Street employees -quants- mathematicians and physicists who are responsible for a technological revolution. Haim Bodek is a quant; he specialized in artificial intelligence and worked for Goldman Sachs. He knows the system from the inside, he helped build it. Haim Bodek was invited to tell his story at the "Battle of the Quants" - a recurring event where quants discuss high-frequency trading, amongst other things. Bodek wrote an algorithm for trading machines that would generate guaranteed income - a money machine that weathered the financial meltdown of 2008. But then from one day to the next the algorithm stopped working.
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