Bloomberg's Tom Maloney recently shed some light on Jane Street's jaw-dropping revenue figure for the 12 months ending March 2021. Here, Alphacution circles back to provide a kaleidoscopic view of what that success looks like from a trading strategy perspective...
"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."Ernest Hemingway Tuesday, April 6, 2021 was a good day for Alphacution in the press... The morning started with a feature by Bloomberg Editor Tom Maloney, "Citadel Gets the Spotlight," wherein he tells the story of Ken Griffin and Citadel Securities' rise as major trading force in the post GFC landscape and - most notably since GameStop - as a recent focal point of politicians and regulators. (I'm sure Ken is not thrilled with the title image.) Here at Alphacution, this article will be remembered primarily for two things: First, for providing a few useful financial tidbits - and, second, for placing a few of our words in the largest font in our history to date - Should it have been "Amazonization" or "Amazonification"? Either way, you get the gist... One more thing on this: I may have told this tale before, but after throwing an unsolicited sharp elbow in Tom's direction in our December [...]
This is the fuel that ignites the chaos. Without it, the New Market Kamikazes run into the friction that keeps the rubber on the road...
"If you are not paying for the product, then you are the product."The Social Dilemma In a rare display of miscalculation, Citadel may have overplayed its hand... Here's the setup: According to Bloomberg, "Citadel Securities LLC has sued the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the regulator’s approval of an order type introduced by stock-exchange operator IEX Group Inc." Approved by the SEC in August and launched on October 1, IEX's discretionary limit order type - or, "D-Limit" - is essentially a mechanism designed to protect liquidity providers from potential adverse selection by latency arbitrage strategies - otherwise known in less polite company as getting "picked off" on the basis of stale quotes. In a comment letter, dated April 23, 2020, Citadel Securities expresses its objection to IEX's proposal, in part, because it "will broadly and indiscriminately affect myriad liquidity takers, including retail and institutional investors as well as market makers in equities and related asset classes, such as ETFs, options, and futures." (Hold that thought for a minute...) Now, [...]
“No matter the outcome of the struggle between China and the U.S. over video-sharing app TikTok, an unlikely winner will be a secretive trading firm based outside of Philadelphia.” – by Wall Street Journal reporters Rolfe Winkler, Jing Yang and Alexander Osipovich. Alphacution contributes analysis to Wall Street Journal story on legendary option-trading powerhouse, Susquehanna International Group’s ownership interest in ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of video-sharing social media app, TikTok, “Secretive High-Speed Trading Firm Hits Jackpot With TikTok” (October 1, 2020). Additional related analysis on share of option markets in Alphacution’s Feed post, “Runaway Concentration Risks is US Option Markets.”
“The future is a choice between utopia and oblivion. Whether it is to be utopia or oblivion will be a touch and go relay race right up to the final moment…” – Buckminster Fuller On September 23rd, the Financial Times reported, “Citigroup halts market making in retail options” in an apparent response to the challenges brought about by the era of zero-commission retail trading; an era that is swiftly nearing its one year anniversary. Among the more notable impacts of this Citi news, the fact that Morgan Stanley now remains as the sole major Wall Street bank still standing as an intermediary for retail option flows ranks high. Truth be told, it ranks second only to a backdrop of creeping concentration as bulge players like Citi and Barclays before them and Goldman before them and others before them – including those that have been winding down their cash equities businesses – have punted on their options businesses because it has become so mind-numbingly complicated and expensive to make money in [...]
"Education is all a matter of building bridges." - Ralph Ellison How trading firms, hedge funds and asset managers scale - as in, scale assets under management (AUM) or proprietary capital, headcount, data, technologies, and other operational ingredients to support a growing mix of market strategies when their initial market strategies reach boundaries of performance, liquidity, inventory or competitive challenges - is a significant point of fascination here at Alphacution. This is because scaling - real, sustainable scaling - requires simultaneous and interdependent success in both operational and trading strategies. Scaling also becomes a critical issue to measure and monitor from a market macrostructure perspective if you believe the hypothesis that the capacity of alpha is finite, as we introduced in the Feed post, "The Privatization of Alpha." Because if you believe that there are no constraints on the capacity of outperformance - or, "alpha" - then there is no need to pay attention to how various asset managers scale their strategies and their overall businesses. In this scenario, there [...]