A Squirt of Randomness

Big fan of Indonesia but ambivalent about Kuta in Southern Bali, especially after being pick pocketed there a few years ago.

Drunk in the early hours of the morning, I was walking through a crowd. One guy held my arm back for a moment to distract me while someone else grabbed my wallet.

Simple but effective.

Nowadays the Eiffel Tower is besieged by pickpockets out to fleece Asian tourists unused to European thievery.

And yet Bob Arno says high class pickpocketry is becoming a dying art.

The best are in St. Petersburg where they can steal a wallet from an inside coat pocket while walking past the victim. Arno describes the move like someone who enthuses about ballet.

The art key is picking a pocket without being detected, until the thief is far away.

Love it or hate it, high frequency trading is out to take money from naive investors in an analogous fashion.

In a reply to my previous post on comparing cryptography and finance, @mechmarkets pointed out encrypted trades.

Investors who are paranoid about HFT nibbling at their margins might try to disguise their intentions by cloaking their trades in random patterns.

This would lead to more randomness market-wide.

What an intriguing idea.

An efficient market implies that prices are hard to forecast and essentially move randomly.

Now it may benefit individual participants to inject a little extra randomness around their trades like a squid squirts ink in order to ensure fairness.

Fascinating.