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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Possible Scenario For 2017: Terminator-Style

I have been scratching my head (and other parts) trying to figure out what's up with 2017.
I mean, the year 2017 does not exist in my consciousness...

All the other years are there: the painful process of trying to get through the telephone and media attacks running up to the presidential elections of 2016, the hazy future of 2018, a blip for 2019, and a future unclear from then on.
The point is not that the picture is unclear or hazy; the point is, to quote a fine figure and to make a fine point of it, is that 2017...

"...  It's not there, Mac !"

 (Donald Moffat as Garry to...

Kurt Russel as MacReady... 

in John Carpenter's The Thing)

Here's a maybe-why or a possibly-might scenario dealing with equity market flash crashes, about which I have written before:
Breakdown: A Glimpse Inside the 'Flash Crash'
By Scott Patterson
June 10, 2012 5:56 p.m. ET
Pools of Darkness
In the weeks and months following the flash crash, a fierce debate erupted over what had become of the stock market. Angry words were exchanged in the halls of Capitol Hill, on financial television shows and at trading firms in New York and Chicago.
Congress held panel discussions. The Securities and Exchange Commission grilled the previously unknown chieftains of the high-speed merchants, including Mr. Cummings of Tradebot and Mr. Peterffy of Timber Hill.
The complex, labyrinthine nature of the market vexed ordinary investors. Years ago, before the rise of electronic networks, most trading took place at the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.
BY 2012, trading occurred in roughly seventy different venues, including giant hedge funds and banks. So-called "dark pools," private markets in which trading took place away from public exchanges such as the NYSE, accounted for more than 10% of all U.S. stock trades, according to Tabb Group.
As the markets slid into discrete pools of darkness, investors, too, had been left in the dark.

It is only our dire lack of imagination that forces us into Terminator 2 and Terminator 3 modes of envisaging the future.

Skynet may destroy the future of many generations of mankind as effectively with a Flash Crash of equity markets, power grids, and many other complex system which have abandoned human oversight and control, as with the robotic armies sweeping through the streets of Los Angeles.

We have trouble imagining the banes to come that we have not yet afflicted ourselves with.

We will have placed the Robot boot upon our skulls.

Despair is worse than slavery.


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