Comments on: Cigarette companies’ final days, high-speed trading, and how rich is Ringo? Steven Brill Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:30:28 +0000 hourly 1 By: DaleG Tue, 18 Feb 2014 22:13:20 +0000 Mr. Brill wrote, “it left me wondering why we allow this kind of high-speed trading, where a nanosecond technology advantage is what wins the day rather than old-fashioned market acumen, and where the original purpose of a stock exchange — to provide a fair, open market for equity capital — seems pushed to the side.”

I’m not sure I agree with the assumption in here–that technological superiority *replaces* market acumen. I would imagine that, in reality, technological superiority carries the day when all else is relatively equal. Furthermore, I would imagine that this phenomena wouldn’t be unique to contemporary laser-whatsit gadgets. I’d bet that it has always been the case that the trader with superior technology generally beats the trader without inferior technology, all other things being equal.

I didn’t read the original article that he’s referring to though. Maybe there’s more in there to justify his assumption that technology is *replacing* rather than, say, *complimenting* market acumen.

But as always, it’s a thoughtful column and he’s asking some smart questions. An article on the feasibility, costs, and benefits of a deliberately slowed-down market would be interesting, indeed.

By: Calfri Tue, 18 Feb 2014 19:31:23 +0000 A tobacco analyst on the Nightly Business Report recently didn’t seem too concerned about the CVS announcement. Drugstores never did sell many cigarettes anyhow, she said, about 5 percent of total sales in the United States. So, even if all of them did the same thing, it wouldn’t hurt the tobacco firms very much, she seemed to say.

By: ARJTurgot2 Tue, 18 Feb 2014 17:30:39 +0000 “Are these blue-chip consultants even willing to work for an industry… (Aficionados of another Showtime series about consulting firms, House of Lies, will find that question absurd.)”

Steve! Not only absurd but obscene; billable hours, lad. The amazing thing isn’t that they would do that, but that anyone would hire them. At best, the results from following a McKinsey strategy plans has to be around the same percentages as a random walk.