giving high-frequency trading a face aka mapping high-frequency trading infrastructure(s)

Late last year Alexandre Laumonier started publishing a multi-part (I-V) look at high-frequency trading infrastructure(s) in Belgium. The ‘HFT in my backyard‘ series highlights the infrastructural nature(s) of information transmission between financial exchanges and more broadly financial markets. The posts included; Mapping the HFT Microwave Networks (built on the bones of old microwave networks built by the US Army and NATO), A Crazy Visit to the Houtem Tower, a third which outlines the current players in the market and their networks, a fourth about tax havens and The Latent SuperMontage, followed by a response from Latent Networks to his series and then, the finale.

In one interlude to the series, tying together his sleuthing he argues;

“All of this is a little bit confused, but I am pretty sure all the HFT firms who visit this blog know what is going on here. Two of the major (and historical) HFT firms from Chicago are working together to build a super-microwave network in Europe, joining their towers/licences and reselling all the stuff to customers who will always be slower than them.”

For more on HFT, see Donald MacKenzie in London Review of Books (Sept. 2014).


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