A thriller based on actual events that takes you to the heart of our automated financial world. Based on interviews with those directly involved and data visualizations up to the ... See full summary »




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Episode credited cast:
Eric Scott Hunsader ...
Himself - Data Analyst
Jeff Hipschman ...
Himself - data center broker
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gregg Berman ...
Himself - SEC financial regulator
Rishi Narang ...
Himself - Fund Manager
Paul Wilmott ...
Himself - Quant


A thriller based on actual events that takes you to the heart of our automated financial world. Based on interviews with those directly involved and data visualizations up to the millisecond, it reconstructs the fastest and deepest U.S. stock market plunge ever. Written by VPRO Digitaal

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automated trading | See All (1) »



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Release Date:

31 January 2011 (Netherlands)  »

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User Reviews

Just touches the surface, the tip of the iceberg.....
17 January 2013 | by See all my reviews

I gave this movie an "8" because it at least exposed how "fake" the stock markets really are....and exposed something that the media (as usual) didn't cover about this event: The time stamps of the allegedly "official" CNBC ticker (and, worse, the ticker available to the small fish retail investor for the Dow Index) at "the time" and moments later of the crash were OFF HUGE, and in a way which could not be reconciled (!) because the main processing system itself had "gotten behind"/overloaded but there was no audit trail easily available to the (m)asses to show that the system was delayed in processing quotes. The huge price arbitrage from this (secondary) calamity alone was HUGE as shown by one of the sources/interviewees, Mr Hunsader.

It touched on the alleged role of Waddell and Reed. It touched on how over half of all trade volume in the US is now "automated". It touched concisely (a bit too much so) on the precise sequence of events that led to the crash. It touched on the SEC's "report" on the crash which came MUCH too late to be of any use, and, more shocking, which was of incorrect emphasis to be of any use (I am not making this up!).

But this film swam in SUCH a rich pool of trendy current subjects for a documentary purpose, but left so many things untouched.

Crucially, the film did not touch on the very arbitrage-ridden plumbing behind ETFs themselves which were also heavily involved in the Flash Crash.

It did not touch on dark pools and their connection to HFT.

The film did not explore deeply into the trading algorithms at all (they could have interviewed the ex programmer from Goldman who allegedly "stole" the code and "sold" it to hedge funds). I felt it was very shallow on this point, just mentioning computer v. computer "warfare" doesn't quite do this topic justice.

It did not mention "DDOS"-type quote stuffing (in the millions per second) which NaNex had earlier exposed.

It did not expose how trading is more and more about "hacking". It's the same mindset, only, now it's institutionalized. Along these lines, it did not mention how this new "technology" has contributed to (at least as shown in the financial media once) banks such as Goldman could have an ENTIRE quarter of NO TRADING LOSS DAYS(!). No one would not call that "trading" but arbitrage (no risk taking), all thanks to automation, internalization and fragmentation of "the market" and order flow.

It did not mention how the US is now "exporting" this HFT meme to developing markets in Asia.

It did not mention how these HFT companies GET PAID via "rebates" for the very HFT trades they make from the exchanges. So the exchanges actively cultivate HFT

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