Jakob Arnoldi introduces his TCS article ‘Computer Algorithms, Market Manipulation and the Institutionalization of High Frequency Trading‘, Theory, Culture & Society, 0263276414566642, first published on February 26, 2015
The article discusses the use of algorithmic models in finance (algo or high frequency trading). Algo trading is widespread but also somewhat controversial in modern financial markets. It is a form of automated trading technology, which critics claim can, among other things, lead to market manipulation. Drawing on three cases, this article shows that manipulation also can happen in the reverse way, meaning that human traders attempt to make algorithms ‘make mistakes’ by ‘misleading’ them. These attempts to manipulate are very simple and immediately transparent to humans. Nevertheless, financial regulators increasingly penalize such attempts to manipulate algos. The article explains this as an institutionalization of algo trading, a trading practice which is vulnerable enough to need regulatory protection.