Joint CFEM/FRIC Seminar with Peter Cramton, University of Maryland
Center for Research in the Foundations of Electronic Markets (CFEM) and Center for Financial Frictions (FRIC) are proud to announce the upcoming seminar with Peter Cramton, University of Maryland.
Peter Cramton will present:
Eric Budish, Peter Cramton, and John Shim
The high-frequency trading arms race is a symptom of flawed market design. Instead of the continuous limit order book (CLOB) that is currently predominant, we argue that finan- cial exchanges should use frequent batch auctions: uniform price double auctions conducted, e.g., every tenth of a second. That is, time should be treated as discrete instead of contin- uous, and orders should be processed in a batch auction instead of serially. Our argument has three parts. First, we use millisecond-level direct-feed data from exchanges to document a series of stylized facts about how the CLOB market design works at high-frequency time horizons: (i) correlations completely break down; which (ii) leads to obvious mechanical arbitrage opportunities; and (iii) competition has not affected the size or frequency of the arbitrage opportunities, it has only raised the bar for how fast one has to be to capture them. Second, we introduce a simple theory model which is motivated by, and helps explain, the empirical facts. The key insight is that obvious mechanical arbitrage opportunities, like those observed in the data, are built into the CLOB market design – even symmetrically observed public information creates arbitrage rents. These rents harm liquidity provision and induce a never-ending socially-wasteful arms race for speed. Last, we show that frequent batch auctions directly address the problems caused by the CLOB. Discrete time reduces the value of tiny speed advantages, and the auction transforms competition on speed into competition on price. Consequently, frequent batch auctions eliminate the mechanical arbitrage rents, enhance liquidity for investors, and stop the high-frequency trading arms race.
References to the paper in business journals etc, cf the links here
“The High-Frequency Trading Arms Race: Frequent Batch Auctions as a Market Design Response” (with Eric Budish and John Shim), Revise and Resubmit Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2015. Winner of 2014 AQR Insight Award [Presentation; Policy: SEC Chair White, European Commission,NY Attorney General, CFTC Comment Letter; Press: Economist, Bloomberg June 18 June 16 Feb 20, FT, WSJ, Chicago Tribune, Atlantic Monthly; Panels: CFTC TAC]
Solbjerg Plads 3, SP113