Thursday, April 03, 2014

The cost of acquiring information

Streetwise Professor discussed Michael Lewis’s HFT Book: and highlight an application of the Grossman-Stiglitz idea that there will be an equilibrium where the cost of acquiring information will be equal to the benefit of obtaining that information.

 "Moreover, it’s not so clear that order flow information is “non-public”.  No, not everyone has it: HFT has to expend resources to get it, but anybody could in theory do that. Anybody can make the investment necessary to ping a dark pool. Anybody can pay to get a faster data feed that allows them to get information that everyone has access to more quickly. Anybody can pay to get quicker access to the data, either through co-location, or the purchase of a private data feed. There is no theft or misappropriation involved. If firms trade on the basis of such information that can be obtained for a price that not everyone is willing to pay, and that is deemed illegal, how would trading on the basis of what’s on a Bloomberg terminal be any different?"

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