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Dark Pools: The rise of A.I. trading machines and the looming threat to Wall Street Paperback – 5 Jul 2012


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Dark Pools: The rise of A.I. trading machines and the looming threat to Wall Street + Flash Boys + The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Business (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847940978
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847940971
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"As an exposition of Wall Street nerdcraft, Dark Pools truly delivers ... Patterson's tales of ingenuity and cunning read like a spy novel." (Jon Ihle Sunday Business Post)

"Gruelling and terrifying, Patterson questions the future of the human inquisitve mind." (European CEO)

Book Description

A chilling look at the rise of artificial intelligence in the financial markets

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barton Keyes on 24 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The machines apparently now have the power to pauperise us all -- or at least most of us. The message in Patterson's book is chilling -- and confirms to those who may have been wavering that stock markets are rigged, in favour of the house, with the punters perennially doomed to see their money whittled away by charges, slow execution and lack of information.

Patterson's book has echoes of Roger Lowenstein's When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital Management and Michael Lewis's Liar's Poker (Hodder Great Reads). Stylistically it is well behind both, with Patterson's irritating business magazine punctuation and syntax doing his exposition no service. But when your mind becomes numb to the stylistic/linguistic quirks, the book is an excellent exposition of the way that the markets have changed beyond all recognition in the past twenty years. If the public were to appreciate the the way that the financial markets are now run the weight of anger might just bring the system tumbling down: here is the reason for under performing pensions and casino banking. This book and others like it have the potential to do great service: if more people read this book then maybe a better-informed public would demand change.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Imre Lendak on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent historical recount how the machines took over from people in the stock (and other) markets. It tells the stories of a handful of people who transformed the complete market despite of the wishes of the big players (i.e. the exchanges).
The title is misleading, as the book does not deal with dark pools.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Finance professional on 13 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It might sound strange saying this about a book on financial markets, but I found the book a real page turner. It was also very thought provoking. I'm glad I read it.

That said, the structure of the book is rather confusing. There is a narrative in there somewhere I'm sure, but it reads just like a series of (admittedly interesting) anecdotes. There are also some sections towards the end that read suspiciously like there were just inserted to get the page count up (the section on 'big data' for example). I also noticed the style of writing was a lot more tabloid than in his previous book (The Quants - which I really enjoyed). This isn't to my personal taste.

That said, it's a fascinating topic, so he gets away with the above flaws in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 8 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave up holding shares some 10 years ago because I clearly did not have the necessary knowledge or information.

I now understand why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jet Lagged TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written before Micheal Lewis got in on the act to cover this topic.

Dark Pools and the computer dominated trading involved ought to be a matter of some concern.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has been very frustrating. The plot is good and the author has developed a good narrative. There is also good material in there as well. The problem, and it is a big problem, is the author's style of writing, limited vocabulary and insistence on writing in the vernacular. The relentless and often primitive embellishment of simple statements in an attempt (misguided) to generate drama becomes irritating and tiresome after only a few pages.
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They should never have been - these sub micro-second trades - only the very first buy/sell order after a change in the true-value of some goods or service should need ultra low latency- the rest of the time (pun intended) the only reason for HTF to exist is to run games against other people's algorithms , and this book explains why this is usually (and in the end, like all casino wars, always) a Very Bad Idea.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Interested in HFT on 18 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Few topics, if any, in the financial world are as polarizing as high frequency trading. The Flash Crash of 2010 thrust this ultra-secret world of algorithmic trading into the spotlight and it has been a hotly debated topic ever since.

Scott Patterson's newest book, Dark Pools, weaves a narrative that is both fast paced and very detailed. Patterson provides the reader with a comprehensive view of high frequency trading, and his vivid descriptions of high speed traders, armed with their algorithms and bots is immediately engaging. However, it is the author's ability to distill the very complex topic of high frequency trading into an understandable nugget of information that makes this effort stand out.

While Dark Pools clearly warrants a five-star rating, those readers interested in superb anecdotal information on high frequency trading should also consult The Speed Traders, by Edgar Perez The Speed Traders: An Insider's Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World. His book does not devote as much ink to the development of electronic trading as Patterson's does, however, Perez's interviews with high frequency traders gives insights into the field that are not matched by any other book on the subject.

Dark Pools is the rare finance book that can, and should, be read not just by people engaged in the financial sector, but by anyone interested in the future of global financial markets. Whether you are a financial novice or the savviest of financial operators, Dark Pools will prove to be an enlightening read.
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