Sunday, November 29, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search

Lost & Found

REWARD!! 2 catahoula female hog dogs with neon collars lost around cr 132 & hwy 97 west & cr 221 on San Antonio River call 210-779-6614 or 210-815-2709
Found: Military dog tag at Wal-mart fuel station, name on tag is Perez Lilliana. If you are or know this person, call Felix 830-391-3003 to claim.

VideoLost: Chocolate Lab, female, named Linda, from Abrego Lake Subdivision. Text/call if spotted or found, 916-508-6024.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Looking to hire 4 individuals for a concrete company, must have knowledge of how to pour and finish concrete for foundations, patios, driveways, footings, walls, and etc.; pay depends on experience. Call Nathan at 573-453-4040.
Line cook/server needed, full-time position. Applicants may apply online at All openings are available until filled. Stockdale ISD is an equal opportunity employer. Stockdale ISD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or age in its employment practices.  830-996-3551.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos

Video Vault ›


Man vs. Himself on Wall Street

E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or
August 23, 2012 | 1,548 views | 1 comment

By Dr. Craig Columbus

(Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at

A costly computer trading glitch involving market maker Knight Capital has intensified the debate over the effects and value of high-frequency algorithmic trading. The holding period for most of these strategies is measured in milliseconds. Specially designed computer algorithms blast out millions of orders a second. Most of these orders are merely probes, designed to gauge market interest. The vast majority are canceled almost instantly before they become actual trades. High-frequency traders are also adept at pocketing the rebates or fees that stock exchanges pay traders to route orders on their platforms.

Critics say these probes clog the system, crowding out legitimate orders. By making it more difficult to get execution of limit orders, for example, algorithmic trading disproportionately harms retail investors. And that’s when everything works the way it is designed! In 2010, the Dow dropped roughly 1,000 points in a couple of minutes due to a computerized trading error. The cause of the so-called “flash crash” still remains largely a mystery.

What can be done? After the “flash crash,” exchanges around the world installed additional circuit breakers to slow down wild swings. Many have suggested placing some sort of transaction tax on high frequency trading, and the S.E.C. is studying the risks these traders pose to the stability of financial markets. Like many proposed Wall Street reforms, however, these are incomplete solutions that fail to address the deepest roots of the problem.

In our forthcoming book, “God and Man on Wall Street: The Conscience of Capitalism,” Mark Hendrickson and I argue that Wall Street reform also requires nongovernmental regulatory solutions--additional self-restraint inculcated through culture-shaping institutions such as familial, civic, social, educational and faith communities. Along with an updated regulatory framework, these powerful influences make redemption possible.

Yes, technology promotes liquidity in markets. However, hubris is Wall Street’s Achilles’ heel, as participants frequently disregard man’s limitations for measuring and predicting future risks. It’s becoming clear that the existing technology infrastructure, i.e., the plumbing of Wall Street, can’t fully support the complexity of high-frequency trading.

While the “algos” have a right to push the envelope of innovation, they should not be permitted to hide behind complexity. Financial professionals should be required to provide a clear roadmap for how to monitor and disarm any innovations that could go rogue under extreme conditions. Shooting a rocket into space is only half the mission. It must also be equipped to safely return to earth.

Don’t get me wrong, I am an ardent believer in the benefits of financial innovation. Today, we take for granted many of these powerful innovations, like ATM’s, certificates of deposit and index funds. Many of today’s investors are also unaware of Wall Street’s so-called “Paperwork Crisis” of the 1960s, when increased trading volumes overwhelmed the industry’s paper-based, back-office record-keeping. Only more sophisticated computer and administrative systems resolved the settlement crisis.

The dominant belief on Wall Street today, however, is that added complexity enhances competitive advantage. Everyone assumes that complexity will serve as a barrier to competitors while superior intellect and resources will always enable one’s own firm to prevail. Within this worldview, culture and values are thus rarely seen as important sources of competitive advantage. “Smartness” often crowds out other important human virtues like empathy and compassion.

This attitude isn’t confined to Wall Street’s small band of sophisticated high-frequency traders. Dangerous complexity marked MF Global. One of its regulators conceded in Congressional testimony that the firm’s books were simply too complicated. That complexity outstripped MF Global’s inadequate risk controls. Some financial institutions have become so large and opaque that it’s difficult for any CEO to adequately oversee them--particularly during extreme financial shocks.

Monetary authorities around the world have also demonstrated the same hubris. Under this thinking, no interventionist strategy appears too novel or risky. In fact, throwing things at the wall to find out what sticks can seem downright proactive. This assumes, however, that the process of perpetual tinkering is both costless and harmless. There are boundaries to endless experimentation--a clear distinction between Dr. Salk and Dr. Frankenstein.

In many cases, regulators simply can’t keep up with the innovation arms race. Both non-banking lending and mortgage derivatives, for example, developed faster than regulators could police or even evaluate. Financial engineering is like blood doping in professional cycling: the innovators are always one step ahead of techniques for detection.

Because of this inherent gap, it is essential that we discuss character and values within the financial system. The risks to the broader economy place these issues within the realm of public trust. Some have said that the recent breakdowns demonstrate that trading no longer pits man versus the machines but rather machines versus machines. I would argue that, at its core, it’s still a battle of man versus himself.

Dr. Craig Columbus is a fellow for entrepreneurship and innovation with The Center for Vision & Values. He is also the executive director of the entrepreneurship program and chair of the entrepreneurship department at Grove City College. © 2012 by The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. The views & opinions expressed herein may, but do not necessarily, reflect the views of Grove City College.
‹ Previous Blog Entry

Your Opinions and Comments

Elaine K.  
August 23, 2012 2:44pm
New post.

Share your comment or opinion on this story!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Commentaries Archives

Commentaries page
Commentaries who represents me?
Triple R DC ExpertsDrama KidsClarity WellHeavenly Touch homeAllstate & McBride RealtyVoncille Bielefeld homeauto chooser

  Copyright © 2007-2015 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.