Screaming and Shouting

Banking, computers and perpetual crisis

Theresa’s American option


Before I retired I was an option trader for 24 years. Unfortunately it makes me think about the world in a slightly cockeyed way: it always gives me innocent delight to see people behaving in a way that is in line with option theory.

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LIBOR lowballing – the story’s snowballing

Snow ball

As the BBC dig up new evidence, we haven’t seen the end of the LIBOR story.

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Bull Bias Behaviour


Daniel Drew, 1797-1879: ‘He who sells what isn’t his’n, must buy it back or go to pris’n’

Hearing odd things about finance very rarely surprises me any more, but today I was told something that did take me aback and which might, I think, have some bearing on the behaviour of markets.

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I am happy, hope you’re happy too: Happiness and economics

Hand drawing unhappy and happy smileys on blackboard

The measurement of happiness has become vogue in economics and public policy.  But is there any real use to it, or is it just a gimmick?

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Dealers, dollars and duration


How should bankers be paid? If you’re returning to this blog you’ll know that I’ve written about this before at some length. But this time I don’t mean how much – but with what?   It’s a question that often gets glossed over.

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Royalty: a modest proposal


It’s not all computers and finance and suchlike technical talk in the Rodgers household.  A recent debate around the dinner table about the monarchy reached a decent level of volume too.

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Le Pen et Les Vols


I’ve always liked the occasional bet. This is a facet of my personality that I suppose came in useful in the old days when my day job was risking money, or managing people who were risking money.  Thinking like a trader is a hard habit to break and my thoughts have recently been turning to the French election.

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Something for the weekend


Enjoying a weekend off?

Let’s hope it stays that way.

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Cable Flash Crash? Shit happens, says BIS


The BIS have just had a crack at telling us what caused the Cable flash crash.

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Spread ’em: with financial spread betting under the cosh, could sports betting be next?


It was summer 1998 and I was in a central London pub with a few friends steadily getting slightly the worse for wear while watching a game of World Cup football on a big flat screen TV. What the game was, I can no longer recall. But I distinctly remember one thing about it: I was long corners in my spread betting account.

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From videotapes to cryptocurrencies – another lesson from history



A lesson from the 1970s may be instructive when thinking about which cryptocurrency will win.

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Tech and the bankers – a Victorian lesson from history


Technology has redefined banking in our lifetimes.  What is surprising is that it has done it before, in Victorian times.

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A picture of the Archaeopteryx


When I wrote my book, “Why Aren’t They Shouting?” I mentioned, in passing, a machine called the Clackatron that had been a solution to a particular problem of automated trading in the very early days of electronic FX.

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Fat finger forex


A couple of weeks ago I gave a talk about my book “Why Aren’t They Shouting?” in front of a group of Belgian businessman at the Belgian embassy.  The talk had a mixed reception. One gentleman, who worked at a hedge fund specialising in foreign exchange, took exception to my claim that automation has made the FX market more fragile.

Well I hope that, last night, he did not have any GBP/USD positions stopped out near the lows. If he did I’m sure that now he would be more willing to agree with me.

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Why they invented writing: a brief but helpful guide to the origins of banking


I wrote this historical essay for my own personal amusement while doing an MSc in Economic History at the LSE last year.  It formed no part of my final grade, which is probably just as well.

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Snapshots of a lost, cruel world


The prehistoric humour of the old school trading floor has gone forever, for good and for bad.

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The root of all evil? Bonuses and failure.


All film directors leave footage on the cutting room floor. The same is true for authors. A very early proposal for my book “Why Aren’t They Shouting?” contained a chapter on bonuses that never made it to the final version although various sections were rescued and thus ended up making their way into the finished product. But I thought it would be nice to post the original chapter since the subject of bonuses is always current. It’s a long read, but I hope you enjoy it.

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Rebuilding trust: Bankers and Hippocrates


How can we rebuild trust in banking?

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It’s a fix!


Can you really manipulate the FX market, even if you wanted to?

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Copycat Chaos? Program trading is back – this time in app form.


A new app could be the gateway to another 1987 crash.

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