Are HFT Algos Taking Aim At Dominating And Manipulating The Wonderful World Of ETFs Next?

Tyler Durden's picture

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centerline's picture

Some of the best scientific minds used today to create incredibly sophisticated work intended to game the system for fast money in order to live like rock stars.  Humanity at it's finest, no?

plocequ1's picture

This is bearish for charts

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

It seems to me that this has to be illegal...

How come NO ONE in power at the SEC or elsewhere has said anything about this?

Spirit Of Truth's picture

If this were a just world, ZH would win one of those fat 9-figure gubermint consulting subcontracts and be helping the SEC do it's purported job.  The investigative work done here is mind-boggling.

mkkby's picture

I don't get it.  Can someone please explain how this actually changes the NBBO?  I mean someone else was already bidding/asking better prices.  Wouldn't all these quotes be non marketable?  So what if I come in with crazy quotes 1000x per second that are nowhere near marketable.  I thought they said no trades were executed, so unless they actally buy out the price levels (from themselves?), why does this matter?

What am I missing?

sabra1's picture

they're all busy staring at weiners pics!

MachoMan's picture

in their defense, they thought it was a woman when they clicked on the link...  of course, at some point you quit getting "fooled"...

Oh regional Indian's picture

DCRB, in the current machine/capital paradigm, tech-fucking your opponent is always allowed. it get's you badges and stripes usually.


LawsofPhysics's picture


Think about it, in the history of the world "tech-fucking" has always been allowed.  Right up until the point where you are eating your competition.  Come on now, just think of all those societies that were slow to develop and apply the use of gunpowder.

Oh regional Indian's picture

In recorded history, I'll grant you that, completely! :-0

Oh regional Indian's picture

In recorded history, I'll grant you that, completely! :-0


bankrupt JPM buy silver's picture

Im starting to document this on SLV and record my desktop platform.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Nice blog.  Tightly focused.  If you would like a link to mine (I use my real name, and it is NOT focused, so very different) send me a gmail at my name and assure me that you will behave.

Robslob's picture


The purpose of the algo is to simulate an "open market" while other AI machines nuke the entire planet and rid themselves of those pesky "carbon" units...

Thus when the alien life forms finally show up to bailout planet earths governments and banking cartels from decades of abuse all they will find is a perfectly functioning market...of machines.



painequalschange's picture

Isn't there anything you CAN invest in any more?

SheepDog-One's picture

Firearms, ammo, farming implements, food...

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Gold & other PMs, water filtration devices, prescription medicines, first aid kits, barter items (booze)...

Deepskyy's picture

And play plenty of Fallout 3 during your down time.  I got a feeling we will all be "wastelanders" soon.


Smiley's picture

Make sure you program all the landmarks in your Pip Boy 3000 before the area becomes infested with RadScorpions; those bastids hurt like hell.

Smiley's picture

I'm considering metal ingots; copper, aluminum, titanium, tin, and nickel.


+1 on the booze, even if you don't drink the stuff.

Vacum sealed cigarettes are big on my list.

Smiddywesson's picture

There is plenty you can invest in during the apocolypse:

Hair gel for those mohawks

Motorcycle accessories

Hockey masks

Leather anything

Fredericks of Hollywood supplies, because there's nothing a man wants more after plying the desert blown highways of the apoclypse, then a mohawk sportin' muscle bleach blonde babe in Frederick's of Hollywood attire.

Dump your gold, Frederick's is the new reserve currency 

AmCockerSpaniel's picture

ALL paper (shares) will be destroyed. Only the physical (PM) will be left in the hands of the owners. When the markets crash/ lockup, it's the same as a run on the bank. Know that if you can not sell something, it's the same as it being worthless.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ $1515

If you do not have any physical gold, you should buy some.  YES, it will go up and down, but its long term future is very promising.

Gold is the best wealth preserver in town.

Smiley's picture

Its a big fat joke and the individual investors are the punchline.

Duuude's picture

It's either called...


A Borgprobe

or a




AmCockerSpaniel's picture

First it was the equity in your home, now it's the wealth in you stock market paper.

SheepDog-One's picture

Those poor pensioners, one day soon theyll all be holding an empty bag.

Smiley's picture

And living off cans of dog food...

Wolferl's picture

Is there really someone out there who thinks ETFs are NOT manipulated?

Highrev's picture

Could it be that the NatGas "sine wave" was one of these with the buy and sell mistakenly flipped?

Cdad's picture

mistakenly flipped?


Franken_Stein's picture


The crocodile jaw algo.

The spread spread algo.


totem's picture

This algo is the Doomsday_Machine from Star Trek... and we're all out of Commodore Decker's here on Earth.


The Fonz's picture

The Spread Eagle Algo, just so you know your being fucked.

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Fairness and capitalism are mutually exclusive. Social Darwinism at its finest.

learn it, live it, love it.

SheepDog-One's picture

Algo's partying up a storm!

10kby2k's picture

And LeBron didn't join them.

irishlink's picture

If this type of manipulation continues and intensifies ,wall streets days are numbered. Who wants to try to second guess these guys.

King Durian's picture

Now it makes sense why the NYSE was willing to sell to the Germans. This HFT infested market will be Germany's problem soon enough. But, Germany outlawed naked short sells, so there might be hope for the NYSE Bourse if the Germans run it.

King Durian's picture

I am apprehensive towards the day these HFT algos have a run at the Bitcoin market. The only thing saving the Bitcoin market from this utter manipulation is due to the lengthy time it takes for Bitcoins to change hands. However, I see that changing as more and more solutions are cropping up to cut down the transmission time. For the meantime, however, I would suspect that the Bitcoin economy is HFT free. Of course, I could confirm this opinion by checking the public Bitcoin records to see if there were any abnormal transactions occuring in the market.


I personally think that if this HFT nonsense continues, eventually the average investor is going to catch wind of this, and are going to forego playing in these manipulated markets. It may have already happened, but I think the trend will continue on the longterm unless this nonsense stops. It may even make other stock markets more inviting.. can you see the billboard advertisements in the Swiss Alps yet? Invest in the "NIFTY- HFT and Algo Free since 2011"!

oogs66's picture

Dont leave atop loss orders. Don't leave so little equity in your margin account that your broker stops you out.

Highrev's picture

Is that a "sine-wave" I see on the /es 5 minute?


Cdad's picture

How long before this test attempt to manipulate prices in C-grade ETFs comes to an SPY near you

Why Tyler, it might even be the Algo [crocodile or otherwise] unwisely pumped the market before today's liquidation hour [which is to say the last hour of trading] as fully invested mutual fund geniuses get their marching orders to sell stocks...a phenomena that shall continue until such time as Magic Ben whispers those magic words again.

So everyone, quick turn on your fractal crocodile jaw algo detectors...and call 'em out!

Ah...does anyone remember those mutual fund redemption last hour trading days?  I do...and fondly so.

espirit's picture

Pull the plug Bitchez, commence Operation Mayhem.

TheTmfreak's picture

Is there any reason you aren't already acting upon Operation Mayhem? Everyone has a part. Play yours.