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Dark Pools: The rise of A.I. trading machines and the looming threat to Wall Street by [Patterson, Scott]
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Dark Pools: The rise of A.I. trading machines and the looming threat to Wall Street Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Length: 370 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1795 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (17 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008LW1ZVC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #135,497 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a quick read and makes a nice companion to Flash Boys which deals with the later period of electronic trading.
It begins with smaller traders spotting a technological edge - trading directly electronically. Levine is the technical genius for one of the firms. It then digresses onto Artificial Intelligence and Genetic algorithms used to develop better trading strategies than humans can develop unaided.

It generally good journalistically and makes for an exciting read but fails to give much of a technical explanation of why The Island system was better than others - why was its availability better? Scott Patterson isn't technical.
The book would benefit from someone that understood both the technology and the markets.

Nevertheless a good history of the origins of High Frequency trading, worth a read.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Scott Patterson relates with all the skills of an accomplished and seasoned Wall Street Journal reporter, the captivating but somewhat alarming tale of evolution of the 'quant-geek' algorithm driven computer programming with the sole intention of spawning a whole new generation of get-rich-quick-barrow-boy-traders who used the phenomenal computer speeds made possible by the geeks to create a radically new trading system in which machines trade anonymously with other machines, making and losing fortunes in the blink of an eye. Often these artificially intelligent machines operate in lightly regulated exchanges, and trade vast sums of money behind closed doors , without any meaningful attempt to participate in the conventional investment scene, just purely hyper fast transactions that try to take advantage of pricing differentials that momentarily exist in the market. This activity whilst only yielding microscopic returns per transaction, nevertheless when repeated millions of times over a few seconds, have the potential of big returns for the 'speed barons'. The author does not conclude that this activity makes any positive contribution to the overall investment environment other than putting 'liquidity' into the system, whatever that means. For sure this book charts the enormous advance in computers making it easier to do lots of things faster, but other than for casino type trading activities there does not seem to be any conclusive evidence that this speed is actually beneficial to humanity or, indeed necessary- just a potentially dangerous procedure for making 'fast' bucks whatever the consequences.Read more ›
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