Flutterby™! : In Goldman Sachs we trust

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In Goldman Sachs we trust

2009-07-12 14:46:52.563673+00 by ziffle 6 comments

A recent revelation from GS is that they have been responsible for 25% of all stock trades using a super duper program that trades at high speed on all exchanges.

The programmer who was making $400k quit over pay probably, and went to Chicago for $1.2 mil per year and was arrested by the FBI for his efforts. Luckily he believed in version control so now we can all manipulate the markets.

Goldman, in court, said they were concerned that the program could be used unfairly[Wiki]. Recently Goldman announced record earnings.

[ related topics: Software Engineering Law Law Enforcement Economics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-12 14:52:20.544894+00 by: ziffle

It appears he GPL'd it and also copyrighted it personally. Is that legal in CA oh keeper of the wisdom of code in CA?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-12 15:29:41.120049+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, although assigning to the Free Software Foundation allows them to prosecute GPL violations, the GPL itself is a use of copyright, and thus it's completely reasonable to publish under the GPL but retain copyright.

In fact some people even publish under the GPL and other more restrictive licenses, as long as the original author is not incorporating other people's work they can charge separately and differently for their own derivative works.

That “there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways” line is pure gold.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-12 19:39:06.737094+00 by: Dan Lyke

The Bloomberg article has a slightly different quote:

“The bank has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways.”

(The article also has some other fun uncharacteristic-for-Bloomberg snark.)

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-13 05:25:07.328315+00 by: radix

It's not 25% (see NYSE report: http://www.nyse.com/pdfs/PT07.09.09.pdf )

This blog entry is right on the money: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/07/king-report-hft/ (IMNSHO)

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-13 15:06:05.072911+00 by: m

Wall Street never thought that competitive trading fees were really fair to them, so GS found a way to more than make up for their loss of revenue. I am not sure why anyone would ever believe that GS would not make use of insider information to enhance their profits. Given the timely NYSE decision to no longer report programmed trading statistics for Goldman, I have to think that there is even more going on than arbitraging on nonpublic information.

This makes one wonder even more about why GS "needed" a bailout.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-13 15:45:50.030971+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

Recently read 'The Crash of 1929' by John Kenneth Galbraith. Well written and interesting account of the lead up and aftermath of the crash then.

I do not agree with his suggested solutions however.

But, one thing struck me: In the middle of the mess was GOLDMAN SACHS, selling things called 'investment trusts' which were leveraged 10 deep and caused the great unwinding, exactly as the CDS unwinding today. And today GOLDMAN SACHS was in the middle.

What we need is to get rid of GS. Alumni include, Geithner, Bernake, Jim Kramer (!), etc.

Matt Taibbi writing in Rolling Stone magazine has a great article which starts:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

Zerohedge talks about it in direct terms as well