Truly, it’s all getting bizarre now. CNBC reports that one single computer program placed enough trades to make up 4% of all the traffic in the US stock market last week. The program placed and then cancelled the orders. It was a single algorithm that placed orders for over 500 seconds in shorts bursts of 25 milliseconds.
Hmm. It looks to us like it may have been a test-run to see if a single program can manipulate the entire stock market. Would someone use this power for good or for evil? Is it the government or someone else? And how will the Federal Reserve like it now that someone is challenging its powers to manipulate the market? More on these important issues tomorrow.
Maybe the key to solving the financial crisis — short of sound money, smaller government, more liberty, and more personal responsibility — is to live longer lives on another planet. Fortunately, enterprising human beings are hard at work. All is not lost!
SpaceX Exploration Technologies launched the first official cargo resupply mission to the international space station yesterday. The launch was a success despite one of the Merlin engines on the Falcon 9 rocket actually shutting down one minute and nineteen seconds into flight. SpaceX founder Elon Musk provided a statement on the launch and said the following (emphasis added is ours):
‘Falcon 9 detected an anomaly on one of the nine engines and shut it down. As designed, the flight computer then recomputed a new ascent profile in realtime to reach the target orbit, which is why the burn times were a bit longer. Like Saturn V, which experienced engine loss on two flights, the Falcon 9 is designed to handle an engine flameout and still complete its mission. I believe F9 is the only rocket flying today that, like a modern airliner, is capable of completing a flight successfully even after losing an engine. There was no effect on Dragon or the Space Station resupply mission.’
Getting the government out of the rocket business may be the best thing for human spaceflight that’s happened in a long time. And in other good news, two scientists have won the Nobel Prize for medicine for showing how to reprogram ordinary human cells into stem cells. Stem cells can turn into almost any other kind of tissue and can be used in new disease treatments.
This isn’t the fountain of youth. But John Gurdon of Britain and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan are certainly doing their part to advance the cause of our species. While our politicians and central bankers are leading us backward to Neo-Feudalism, where we all get poorer and the State gets more powerful, at least science is looking ahead.
for Markets and Money
From the Archives…
Derivatives as a Sponge
5-10-2012 – Greg Canavan
Don’t Teach Your Man to Fish
4-10-2012 – Nick Hubble
Three Phone Calls You Must Make Now
3-10-2012 – Nick Hubble
Beer and Tax in Retirement
2-10-2012 – Nick Hubble
Hard Times for Hard Rocks
1-10-2012 – Dan Denning