Rumors on me

I am still too busy these days to write long posts here (even if there are a lot of issues to discuss about since the release of Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys), and I think I won’t be able to write seriously until early July. But here is an amazing story.

One month ago I have had a Twitter discussion with a trader working along with a famous American whistleblower whose name starts with B and ends with D, and at some point I received this PM tweet: “are u purely doing studies or trading as well? i’ve heard rumors of you“. What? Rumors on me in Wall Street???

I asked for precisions by mail and I received these words: “I heard you had been lurking as sniperinmahwah for years before the whole entire twitterverse of HFTs came around. Additionally, many didn’t even know you were an anthropologist til much later. Some thought u were a practitioner as well. ” Goddamn! They have found me! More seriously, I asked for more precisions and received this: “1) I asked about your twitter handle to my team. 2) XXX [another trader]  said something about how you had been doing studies on something in the HFT space while interacting with some of the HFT twitterverse. 3) My head trader mentioned he had seen you online before somehow and thought u were a player. 

Those that do not follow you directly and just see some of the interactions you have with people they follow, may think you are a participant in general especially with a name like sniperinmahwah ;).” Wow. Yes, my Twitter pseudo (SniperInMahwah) may be confusing and can make some people paranoid but the explanation is simple: in the book in two parts I wrote about HFT and exchanges the narrator is an algorithm called Sniper (like the ones used in dark pools) and “he” lives in Mahwah, the Nyse facility in NJ. Even if my book is as serious as a true academic work, I choose to use this non-human narrator as if the book were written by a machine doing data mining. So, I confirm that I am not a trader (I have heard that becoming a HFT trader would need $2-4 millions and I don’t have the money), I am just an anthropologist and I discovered markets two years ago only.
The rumors were more a merit on your side“, wrote me the trader. Indeed, this story is probably the best compliment given to me since I work on this matter.  Moral of the story: working hard always pays off.

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