When Michael Lewis ended "Flash Boys", he left the door open on what the sequel to the blockbuster may well be: an expose on the even newer, faster paradigm of trading, one involving microwave signals and line-of-sight towers, which transmit information and trading signal even faster than fiberoptic cables, which in a world in which milliseconds and increasingly, nanoseconds, are critical, is all that matters. In short, a market in which making trading decisions has nothing to do with fundamental or technical analysis, and everything to do with spending tens if not hundreds of millions to simply be faster than the "other guy" and to be able to frontrun the broader order flow with results such as Virtu's "Holy Grail" 1,237 of 1,238 profitable, and perfectly legal, trading days.
As a preview of what Michael Lewis is likely working on right now, tomorrow, the Sniper In Mahwah blog will post a long story detailing what the author believes are the bulk of not all of the towers used by the HFT players. As the author reveals to us, "I think some HFT players won't like the map I'll post (because they want to stay "secret"), but I have found all of them only by using online/public documents. So easy."
"Easy" indeed, as long as one has the motivation to do some digging, which inexplicable virtually no financial journalists do.
So without further ado, the image below is a screen capture of the Google Earth map file which will be released officially tomorrow on his blog, with public documents linking each tower to its owner. The creator of the map thinks that it "should make some noise," although considering the vast financial resources and power over politicians the HFT lobby has, we wouldn't be surprised if, quite quickly, this latest story is promptly disappeared.
After all, the last thing retail investors need to be reminder of every day, is that there is a rigged market for frontrunning, predator HFTs, and then a market for everyone else, i.e., the prey.
Source: Sniper In Mahwah