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1215095 will lead you to the truth

Michael Lewis's expose of high frequency trading, Flash Boys, has already been mentioned on the blue, but, unusually for a work of non-fiction it ends with a cliffhanger. At the end of the book, Lewis stares up at a microwave tower in central Pennsylvania that had created a new, faster link between financial markets in Chicago and the East Coast: "I noticed, before we left, a metal plate attached to the fence around the tower. On it was a Federal Communications Commission license number: 1215095. The number, along with an Internet connection, was enough to lead an inquisitive person to the story behind the tower. The application to use the tower to send a microwave signal had been filed in July 2012, and it had been filed by . . . well, it isn’t possible to keep any of this secret anymore. A day’s journey in cyberspace would lead anyone who wished to know it into another incredible but true Wall Street story, of hypocrisy and secrecy and the endless quest by human beings to gain a certain edge in an uncertain world. All that one needed to discover the truth about the tower was the desire to know it.” Now we know that truth. [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah on Jun 18, 2014 - 56 comments

Indirect fusion's nothing less than HiiiPoWeR

Installed solar capacity is growing by leaps and bounds, led by Walmart and Apple, and helped by bonds backed by solar power payments,[*] which have sent industry stocks soaring, even as molten salt and new battery technologies come on line to generate storage for use when the sun doesn't shine. Of course we could always go to geostationary orbit -- or the moon -- as well we may (if politics allow it) as thirst from the developing world grows beyond the earth's carrying capacity. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 30, 2013 - 41 comments

Dow tanks briefly after fake AP tweet

The Dow tumbled nearly 150 points this afternoon after a fake tweet about White House explosions was posted from the AP's hacked twitter account. Markets recovered almost completely after the AP clarified that the news was false.
posted by Westringia F. on Apr 23, 2013 - 134 comments

This stock picking cat will give you paws

While the professionals used their decades of investment knowledge and traditional stock-picking methods, the cat selected stocks by throwing his favourite toy mouse on a grid of numbers allocated to different companies. [spoiler warning: the cat wins]
posted by latkes on Jan 14, 2013 - 27 comments

U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade Expected This Weekend

Markets declined sharply this week in preparation for a U.S. credit downgrade by Standard & Poor's ABC news felt confident to break the news of the U.S. government preparing for an expected S&P down grade sometime after market close this weekend. [more inside]
posted by Poet_Lariat on Aug 5, 2011 - 679 comments

What to Eat?

Overfishing is a topic that's been discussed on the Blue before (recently previous, previously). Despite potential consequences, many of us will still eat fish. So, what should we eat? (Previously) From the always thought provoking Information is Beautiful. [more inside]
posted by glaucon on Jun 27, 2011 - 76 comments

Bribery or Needed Motivation?

Baltimore area schools are using this Johns Hopkins program In an effort to combat rampant absenteeism and improve graduation rates, several Baltimore area middle schools are adopting the Stocks in the Future program developed by Johns Hopkins University program. Students are paid up to $80 a year based on their attendance and grades, which they are then allowed to invest in the stock market. Upon graduation, students keep their own portfolios (surprisingly, not all of them do). The program allows students to develop some financial literacy and has improved attendance rates.
posted by foxinsocks on Nov 11, 2010 - 16 comments

Researchers claim Tweets predict The Dow

Invented by Charles Dow in 1896, The Dow Jones Average ("The Dow") is perhaps the most widely known metric of equity market behaviour. Calculated as a price weighted average of thirty stocks, The Dow is generally eschewed by professional investors who prefer the broader S&P 500, a so-called market capitalisation weighted index consisting of 500 stocks. Regardless, proponents of the Dow claim its simplicity, long history and careful design as a reliable proxy of US economic activity as points in its favour. But can they now claim predicability as well? [more inside]
posted by Mutant on Oct 23, 2010 - 19 comments

High frequency trading crop circles

High frequency trading crop circles. Automated trading is flooding stock exchanges with nonsensical orders making odd patterns like The Knife at millisecond scales. Bugs, emergent phenomena, or market jamming strategies? No one seems to know.
posted by Nelson on Aug 7, 2010 - 108 comments

Nails Goes to Wall Street

Lenny Dykstra was lauded for his heroics with the Mets and Philles. After his career, Dykstra became well-known as a post-career athlete success story. Then the truth started coming out... [more inside]
posted by reenum on Oct 27, 2009 - 22 comments

Raise Thumb. Close One Eye. Squint.

The eyeballing game: compare your best attempts at several instinctive everyday tasks - determining a point of convergence, bisecting an angle, finding the midpoint of a line - against mathematical certainty. In a more financial mood? Play Chartgame: given a random historical stock chart of an unnamed S&P 500 company, choose to buy and sell as time advances to see if you can beat the market.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Oct 14, 2009 - 22 comments

Rats who trade stocks

Rats who trade stocks [more inside]
posted by rottytooth on May 12, 2009 - 23 comments

Ladies And Gentlemen… Dow 25,000!

Ladies And Gentlemen… Dow 25,000! A few years ago, some financial wizards thought the good times would go on and on and on. The mega-market could bring Dow 30,000 or Dow 36,000. Maybe the real estate boom will not bust.
posted by Yakuman on Jan 10, 2009 - 52 comments

A Random Walk Down Wallstreet

Another stock market post. Technical traders (or charters) don't look at the fundamentals of an investment, like the earnings per share or even macro economic indicators to understand how a stock will move. Instead, they look at the movements in the market. While many of us might think prices are now low, technicians have the reassurance of fibonacci sequences, relative strength indexes, support levels and other "blackbox" ratios to determine their investments. There are some who blame them for a lot of woe, but they also provide a ray of light when everything else looks glum. Despite some evidence it doesn't work, or at least doesn't work over the long term, the number of true believers in the market mean even true fundamentalists can't ignore their impact. [more inside]
posted by bystander on Oct 28, 2008 - 74 comments

neurobiology of trust

As the market plummets, it might be interesting to look at the neurological background in the breakdown of trust. The author, Jonah Lehrer, is a young brainiac writer for Seed and the excellent Frontal Cortex. l Scientists immediately discovered a strong neural signal that drove many of the investment decisions. The signal was fictive learning. l One way to think of the financial markets right now is that instead of being populated by rational agents, they're full of people with borderline personality disorder. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 9, 2008 - 32 comments

P/E Ratios, The other elephant in the room

Down, but pehaps not down enough P/E Ratios historically revert to 11, at least from 1871-2003 after any bubble, but somehow they did not revert that far after the dot-com bust [more inside]
posted by Rafaelloello on Oct 8, 2008 - 24 comments

Sell in May and go Away but buy back on St. Leger Day

Academic discussions of stock markets frequently reference The Efficient Markets Hypothesis; an idea that share prices are fairly valued, their prices reflecting all available information. However folklore such as "Sell in May and go away", which proved prudent in 2007, clashes with this theory. [more inside]
posted by Mutant on May 15, 2008 - 11 comments

Cui bono?

On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 0.5%. Wall Street aggressively demanded the cut to stop the sub-prime mortgage contagion from triggering a credit crisis among large US and foreign investment banks and the collapse of their over-leveraged hedge funds, which ultimately threatened to drag the US economy into recession. The market rallied this week in response to the Fed's move. But there is no free lunch. [more inside]
posted by Pastabagel on Sep 20, 2007 - 99 comments

Dems funded by war profiteers! Exclusive! **Must cite MetaFilter**

AestheticallyUnappealingBedfellowsFilter: "George Soros initiated holdings in Oil Equipment & Services company Halliburton Co.. His purchase prices were between $27.62 and $33.53, with an estimated average price of $31.3. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 2.02%. His holdings was 1,999,450 shares as of 12/31/2006. Halliburton Co. closed today at $30.05." Maybe he's 'culture jamming'? Might raise some amusing ethical conundra in any case.
posted by waxbanks on Mar 1, 2007 - 53 comments

Learn About the Stock Market While Wasting Time Online

Want to learn about investing? Morningstar, an independent investment researcher, is offering 172 free online "classes" on stocks, bonds, funds, and portfolio building. And there's nifty quizzes at the end of each lesson where you can earn points that can be used for Morningstar products.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jan 9, 2007 - 20 comments

Cash & Hemlock Partners LLC

EarthShell, a small Maryland company that makes environment-friendly packaging (among others) may wink out of existence thanks to PIPEs, or private investments in public equities. Who likes PIPEs? Hedge Funds, mostly. Companies that take the pipe, as it were, may be sealing their doom. 10 percent of PIPE deals done this year are 'death spirals', where the company's stock price plummets from short selling by the financiers who structured the deal in the first place. And of course it's legal if you don't get caught shorting the stock naked and covering with the shares from the PIPE. (BTW, http://www.earthshell.com appears to be on the margins now or I'd have linked it).
posted by nj_subgenius on Dec 27, 2006 - 24 comments

The Washington Stock Exchange

The Washington Stock Exchange. A stock exchange for political junkies.
posted by matkline on Nov 11, 2006 - 22 comments

The 'greater fool' theory writ large

The Motley Fool's new CAPS stock-picking system keeps track of your stock picks and whether they outperformed or underperformed the market. Then everyone's picks are aggregated, weighted by the quality of their past records, to rank individual stocks. Here's how it works. (more inside)
posted by ikkyu2 on Oct 4, 2006 - 13 comments

Smarkets are happy fun

"Buy Stock in Ipods. Or Da Vinci Codes." Steve Odom's Smarkets is a web-based stock trading game (and market experiment) based on Amazon.com sales rank. (via jayisgames)
posted by selfnoise on Dec 22, 2005 - 8 comments

The Consensus of Crowds

Consensus View
New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki's book The Wisdom of Crowds "explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future." Now this idea has been put into practice with Consensus View, a site where you can enter your predictions on stocks, commodities, and currencies, and view the group consensus. (from wsj.com)
posted by reverendX on Sep 18, 2005 - 46 comments

Grand theft in progress?

"What's most shocking about Grand Theft Auto isn't embedded sex scenes. It's the financial chicanery of the game's maker." Fortune's Bethany McLean - one of the few journalists to question Enron's stock price in early 2001 - has just taken a good look at Take Two Interactive, and she doesn't like what she sees. Four CEOs since 2002, execs dumping stock in recent months, fraudulent "parking transactions" that dramatically overstated earnings...and yet its stock price has remained bouyant. "How, in an era when investors are supposedly obsessed with corporate governance, are this firm's troubles so easily overlooked?"
posted by mediareport on Aug 17, 2005 - 12 comments

Five Years After the Bubble

Five Years After the Bubble is a collection of ten links from the perspective of those who were neck deep in the whole thing. I found the link while reading up on Andy Kessler, who had an interesting piece in today's WSJ, and is giving away his new book.
posted by trharlan on Apr 15, 2005 - 3 comments

"I've put more than a million dollars worth of cocaine up my nose."

"I've put more than a million dollars worth of cocaine up my nose." - The Philadelphia-based writer of "Stuck Like Chuck" returns with three vignettes ( I | II | III ) of trader-room life and its characters. Brief, but captivating writing.
posted by AlexReynolds on Mar 5, 2005 - 25 comments

One man's retirement math: Social Security wins

One man's retirement math: Social Security wins At the heart of President Bush's plan to sell Social Security private accounts is a simple notion: You're always better off investing your retirement money than letting the government do it. By doing it yourself, you can stow some money in the stock market, and over the long run will get a better return on that investment than today's Social Security system offers. The idea is broadly accepted. That's why the administration's plan to partially privatize the system sounds appealing to many. But that better return won't always happen. Just ask Stanley Logue of San Diego. For 45 years, the defense-industry analyst paid into the system until his retirement in 1994. But with all the recent hoopla over reform, Mr. Logue, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, decided to go back and check his own records. Would he have done better investing his money than the bureaucrats at the Social Security Administration?
posted by Postroad on Dec 27, 2004 - 80 comments

What is the future of the US stock market?

Why Stock Markets Crash : Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems. Professor Didier Sornette of UCLA has some very interesting things to say about stock markets. In his book, he explains how his "theory of cooperative herding and imitation [...] has detected the existence of a clear signature of herding in the decay of the US S&P500 index since August 2000 with high statistical significance, in the form of strong log-periodic components." Although his timing has been just a bit early, the theory, the predictions to date and the pictures are all pretty uncanny. This is easily the most interesting book on the stock market I have ever read and provides interesting and believable hypotheses about things I never imagined could have rigorous explanations. For an overview, here is an interview with the author.
posted by muppetboy on May 14, 2004 - 19 comments

Google heads for IPO

Another "Google heading for an IPO" report - but this time it's for real, according to the Financial Times. Apparently the shares will be sold through an electronic auction "designed to prevent a recurrence of the sort of financial scandals that have engulfed Wall Street since the collapse of the dotcom bubble". Not that Google was ever going to be Enron.
posted by zimbobzim on Oct 23, 2003 - 24 comments

Vice or price?

'Vice or Price'? Don Johnson as Sonny Crockett in Miami Vice drove a fancy car while fighting the drug world. Now Don is suspected of trying laundering $8 billion in bonds, stocks and credit notes in Germany. He said he was there to buy a car. Some car!
posted by hockeyman on Mar 13, 2003 - 7 comments

Someone we trust says something reassuring.

Someone we trust says something reassuring. Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, arguably the most powerful man in the world, blames "infectious greed" for the recent panic-like tail-spins on Wall Street, but says that the economy is on the way to recovery. One comment held that Greenspan was finally able to let out how he feels about what's going on, without shrouding his opinion in economic jibber-jabber.
"For once he really spoke his mind. He usually tends to obfuscate things quite a bit."
But really, how many of you expected Greenspan to say anything other than "the fundamentals are in place for a return to sustained healthy growth"? Does Greenspan actually feel this way? Could it be that he is actually majorly pessimistic, but is using his soothing sweet-song voice and obvious clout and earned respect to somehow buck recent trends? Bush's speech didn't do much for our faltering economy, but will Greenspan's? Can one man's mere words possibly change the course of history? Well?
posted by Hammerikaner on Jul 16, 2002 - 27 comments

Oooh, Martha's in trouble...

Oooh, Martha's in trouble... Looks like her ex-boyfriend may have tipped her off to some insider information (and subsequently got popped). News of the incident has caused Martha Stewart Omnimedia stock to drop. Not a Good Thing.
posted by shecky57 on Jun 12, 2002 - 13 comments

Worldcom had lent $430 million to Bernard Ebbers, its CEO - apparently to meet margin calls on its stock.

Worldcom had lent $430 million to Bernard Ebbers, its CEO - apparently to meet margin calls on its stock. (The amount was $366 million as per BusinessWeek). Bernie Ebbers resigned on April 30th. "About the best that can be said of the arrangement is that it keeps a big block of WorldCom stock out of the market, leaving it safely parked in the CEO's portfolio. Price to WorldCom: almost 20 percent of its balance sheet cash as of year-end 2001." I wonder, what could the board have been thinking?!
posted by justlooking on May 3, 2002 - 2 comments

Fake profits are causing the stock market to descend.

Fake profits are causing the stock market to descend. Could someone explain to me the meaningful difference between Enron and Amazon.com? One company recently reported fake profits of $5 million, while having billions in debt. Enron, well...no profits either, and billions in debt. So why is Amazon.com considered "promising"? Enron had a revenue stream too.... Prediction: Amazon.com's stock will be "revalued" sharply lower as people get lucid about real profits and as the accounting/profit scandals spread.
posted by ParisParamus on Feb 4, 2002 - 19 comments

The Catch with Wells Fargo's Share Builder

The Catch with Wells Fargo's Share Builder Some of you may have seen Wells Fargo's ads touting $4 per transaction and unlimited transactions for $12. The main catch is that you cannot trade every day. From their FAQ- "ShareBuilder trades can be made the first, second, third or fourth Tuesday of each month. You select which day you would like your trade to take place when setting up your ShareBuilder Plan. In the event of a month with five Tuesdays, no ShareBuilder trades will take place on the fifth Tuesday." When the rest of the world is going to real-time trading, why do you think Wells Fargo is pushing this? Do you think it is deceptive that this is not mentioned up-front?
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Dec 12, 2001 - 10 comments

The Tech Effect.

The Tech Effect. I'm curious what you all think about how this attack will affect the world of technology, and business. Will office applications become more decentralized and will we see more workers and small businesses become "free agents" or work at home? And will cell phones become even more ubiquitous (even cell-luddites like myself may be reconsidering)?
posted by owillis on Sep 16, 2001 - 9 comments

Suspicious Trades?

Suspicious Trades? U.S. and British intelligence agencies are investigating if there were links between bin Laden and some trades in securities futures in the United States and Europe before and after the attacks. I haven't heard this mentioned before, but it's another horrible thought. Spotted on Japan Today.
posted by curiousg on Sep 16, 2001 - 1 comment

An idea to support the U.S economy.

An idea to support the U.S economy. The suggestion is that everyone American should buy 10 or 20 shares in their favourite stock on Monday, and in doing so support their country in the time of crisis. It sounds like a good idea to me. (The story is at the bottom of the page)
posted by Atom Heart Mother on Sep 14, 2001 - 33 comments

What ever happened to ultraprosperity?

What ever happened to ultraprosperity? This 1999 article written on the middle of dotcom stocktopia may make you laugh, cry or keep scratching your head, at least. Now, where's the "ultraprosperity" we were promised when we need it the most - right now- us balancing in the verge of recession, burst bubbles and nonstop layoffs?
posted by betobeto on Aug 4, 2001 - 8 comments

Scripophily

Scripophily is the misunderstood love of owning stocks and bonds that shouldn't be worth anything anymore. So why not make a business out of it? I'm just glad to see that e-toys is doing good once again.
posted by samsara on Jun 26, 2001 - 5 comments

from this weeks nyt mag: a fantastic article by the always-excellent michael lewis: Jonathan Lebed: Stock Manipulator, S.E.C. Nemesis -- and 15
posted by palegirl on Feb 26, 2001 - 7 comments

Can you say fraud? Can you say it twice? As strange as it seems, these two are related. After Kurzweil's fraud was finally revealed, the top two execs went to jail, but there was some question about what was going to happen to the company. Well, what goes around comes around. Lernout and Hauspie bought out Kurzweil Artificial Intelligence. It seems like they picked up the corporate culture, too.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Dec 20, 2000 - 0 comments

An Australian Man who sent millions of e-mails around the world falsely stating shares in an American company would rise 900 per cent was today sentenced to two years in jail. The charges filed are believed among the first of their type made against anyone in the world. Mr Hourmouzis had pleaded guilty to two charges of making a false statement on the Internet.
posted by murray_kester on Oct 29, 2000 - 4 comments

"I wasn't doing anything wrong..."

"I wasn't doing anything wrong..." So says Jonathan Lebed, the 16-year-old who paid out $285,000 to the SEC to settle his pump-and-dump case. His father agrees: "He earned it. He did a lot of work. He didn't sit behind a garage smoking pot, or stealing wheels off a car." Yeah, right: after all, he bought his parents a Mercedes with the profits of his stock manipulation.
posted by holgate on Oct 22, 2000 - 17 comments

NBCi

NBCi relaunches as probably the most boring, blase portal site I've ever seen and their stock goes up? Is it just me, or does it look like they bought the site from "Al's Do It Yourself Portals"?
posted by owillis on Sep 25, 2000 - 7 comments

It seems to me that this kid

It seems to me that this kid is only getting in trouble because a bunch of people are sore losers. Aside from the legal trappings that they used to frame him, don't you think that people stupid enough to take financial advice via postings on Yahoo (or other sites) shouldn't whine when they turn out to be bogus? thoughts?
posted by ooklah on Sep 22, 2000 - 9 comments

Speculation time:

Will MSFT go up or down tomorrow on the market? Whatcha all think?
posted by Steven Den Beste on Jun 7, 2000 - 11 comments

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