Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mainframe programmers wanted

Looks like my investment in JCL may just pay off yet.


Mainframes have relied on Cobol and assembler as their programming languages. But these days, not a lot of people are teaching these languages or mainframe management, Semerjian says. Meanwhile, today's university students are preoccupied with learning newer technologies such as .Net and Java. "Despite the fact that [mainframe] apps are core to so many large businesses, to newer programmers there's not as much sizzle in learning mainframe programming," Vallely says.

Hacker's Delight

Everyone's favorite book of programming tricks! Or at least I think it will be mine, when I get around to buying a copy. The sample sections do look excellent though.

NYSE and sub-penny


In October, the two NYSE Euronext exchanges asked the SEC for permission to set up a special program intended to make the NYSE a more competitive destination for retail orders. The service would compete with those of brokers that internalize retail orders, such as wholesalers like Knight. The NYSE is also positioning the service to attract flow from those internalizers.

. . . .

Joyce is not the only executive of a wholesaler to view the NYSE's proposal with skepticism. Jeff Martin, president of ATD/Citi, found fault with the idea of letting a market maker's hidden order take precedence over a displayed quote.


Unless I'm missing something, a market maker's hidden order already takes precedence over a displayed quote, if that market maker is the retail client's broker. So basically, this opposition amounts to the privileged few not wanting to share.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly options

Volumes are increasing! It's a bit funny, this is one of those times when we've built a bunch of things that say "Weekly options are irrelevant, discard them", and now they're not so irrelevant. Alas!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The problem with Soverign CDSs

But jokes aside, TMM are incredulous that banks have been able to get away with selling Sovereign CDS for so long. The ill-design of the product is palpable - for it not to pay out in the event of a 50% haircut (60% in NPV terms) because the restructuring was "voluntary" is laughable. Sovereign CDS has turned out to be less useful as a hedge than a glass panel in a nudist camp. This is an exceptionally serious issue for the credit market as banks have used CDS to hedge their bond holdings, loan books and other related country exposures, particularly from CVA desks.


A glass panel in a nudist camp. That is what a Soverign CDS is.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fees for heavy quoters?

Could calm things down, or quite the opposite?


"If entities are sending a significant amount of quotes and never generating a trade, then it's not a good idea for us to support that," Finzi said at STA.

"But one must also be careful because there are certain models and folks who provide value to the marketplace," he added. "That includes market-maker strategies with two-way prices in stocks. In volatile times, they have to address those and amend those quite regularly."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cancel Moose says CANCEL

Best way to deal with spam on your netnews site!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New version of Qt for OS/2

Exciting times indeed. This will go great with my new HP TouchPad.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

A little sybperl history

Oh Sybase, how I miss thee! Rarely do I see you in my new job.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tape APIs on Windows

With the removal of the Removable Storage Manager API, things are a bit sad.

Perhaps the time has come for me to learn how to write my own backup programs on Windows.

O RLY?

O'Reilly 3 for 2 sale, woot.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Unix quotes

"Of course Unix is user-friendly; it's just rather picky about its friends" (source unknown).


As seen on TUHS mailing list.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Regulatory discoordination

Wherein the CME notes that halting stocks in a fashion uncoordinated with futures and options markets is probably a dangerous game. Of course, the SEC and the CFTC are too busy comparing their respective anatomies to put their heads together and get something sensible done I'm sure.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mainframe programming for mere mortals

Or, why won't IBM let programmers help them?

IBM is in a comfortable niche w/r/t their high end hardware. For "real developers", there is zPDT. It ain't free. In fact, it is well beyond what most FOSS volunteers can afford. So we have free (as in beer) ways of emulating a mainframe, like Hercules. The guys who shouldered the monmuental task of emnuating the mainframe with open-source did an amazing thing. And there are some things Hercules cannot do. So there is a place for zPDT. Maybe IBM is just trying to keep certain business partners comfortable. I hear that many developers are not. (are not "comfortable", that is)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Legal entity IDs

Coming soon to a market data vendor near you. And not a moment too soon.

In an effort to combat counterparty risk, there is a major push to give financial institutions global ID numbers. Regulators, brokerage firms and banks are calling for a standardized way to recognize who is really involved in a transaction, regardless of where in the world a trade takes place.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Long commodity funds and food prices

Bankers recognized a good system when they saw it, and dozens of speculative non-physical hedgers followed Goldman's lead and joined the commodities index game, including Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Pimco, JP Morgan Chase, AIG, Bear Stearns, and Lehman Brothers, to name but a few purveyors of commodity index funds. The scene had been set for food inflation that would eventually catch unawares some of the largest milling, processing, and retailing corporations in the United States, and send shockwaves throughout the world.


The problem seems to be, more or less, that we need a worldwide solution to the problem of the futures markets being dominated by speculators, and it's hard to get London, Hong Kong, DC, etc to agree to outlaw these fools.

Hat tip

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Commodore 128 Programmer's Guide

Excellent, now I can start the task of porting all of our apps to this affordable machine.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Exemptive Relief

Most ETFs are registered under the Investment Act of 1940 – often referred to as the ’40 Act – as open-end investment companies. As such, they are subject to the specific provisions of the ’40 Act as they pertain to open-end funds. However, several of the customary features of an ETF are not consistent with the requirements of the ’40 Act. Thus, a key part of the process in launching any ETF is to receive the required exemptions from these provisions of the ’40 Act.


I'm not an expert, but it seems like it would be easier for Congress to pass a law to make ETFs legal in their customary form, no?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Action on the floor?


The ISE's detractors argued that order exposure was a hallmark of the options industry and that the QCC was in violation of that tenet.

For its part, the ISE argued there was little competition on exchange floors because electronic trading and penny increments have taken many traders off the floors in recent years. Also, exchange rules do not permit their off-board members to participate in floor trades. So, in practice, exposure on floors is nonexistent, the ISE asserted, and its QCC does not represent radical change.

SEC data belies that argument. A study undertaken by the regulator last year showed that about three-quarters of all trades of more than 500 contracts at the Chicago Board Options Exchange were broken up. Another 71 percent of all large trades at the Nasdaq PHLX were broken up.


Wouldn't want that nasty crowd getting in the way and actually having an auction.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Canada Curbs Dark Pool Trading

Interesting.

"In examining the issues and the risks of the expansion of the use of dark orders, we are of the view that the need for providing some limits on their use is critical in maintaining the quality of the price discovery mechanism and addressing concerns regarding the impact of dark orders on the quality of the Canadian capital market," the regulators wrote in a joint summary.


Sounds reasonable to me, though I suspect others differ in their opinions.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Oracle screws customers

To get at HP, of course. Looks like IBM may be the winner here. Oracle is a devouring monster, I'd be afraid to build too much in their ecosystem.

Previously I offered my thoughts on Oracle's announcement that it is terminating all its development for HP Itanium platforms. This announcement has understandably caused great anxiety and concern within HP's enterprise server community.

Why w3 schools is bad

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Historical computers rise from the ashes

Well, virtually at any rate.

SIMH is a framework into which system emulators are built. When you explore the hierarchy of the SIMH source tree, you'll find a set of general simulator files, and then a set of subdirectories that contains machine simulations (or classes of machine simulations).

So much for the public

The ISE's detractors argued that order exposure was a hallmark of the options industry and that the QCC was in violation of that tenet.

For its part, the ISE argued there was little competition on exchange floors because electronic trading and penny increments have taken many traders off the floors in recent years. Also, exchange rules do not permit their off-board members to participate in floor trades. So, in practice, exposure on floors is nonexistent, the ISE asserted, and its QCC does not represent radical change.

SEC data belies that argument. A study undertaken by the regulator last year showed that about three-quarters of all trades of more than 500 contracts at the Chicago Board Options Exchange were broken up. Another 71 percent of all large trades at the Nasdaq PHLX were broken up.


Who needs data! We have history on our side.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Internalization

Critics of internalization argue the practice ensures that stock prices aren't as realistic as they should be. Some say a number of internalized trades approaching 40 percent implies an unhealthy marketplace.

NYSE also noted that much of the flow being "skimmed from the public markets" was "attractive," leaving the exchanges with the dregs. And because these orders tended to be from professionals, they made market making unprofitable, NYSE averred.


Indeed. Why bother to trot orders out to auction when you can cross them internally and eat your customer for lunch? Not like there are auctions anymore.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

IPv4 addresses all gone

From IANA, at least. I welcome our new IPv6 overlords.

Monday, January 17, 2011

No citizens please

I guess I was a bit optimistic. Now you have to be a foreign investor to invest in Facebook.

I love it: the US securities laws excluding US investors from investing in a US company in the US. What will they think of next?


The comments are pretty classic as well - one of the guys seems to think, through some leap of logic, that Goldman offering the equity only to foreign clients somehow means that taxpayers are giving Facebook the money.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The war on Intel is on

Microsoft seems to have Office and Windows ready for the ARM processors. I guess the Intel power requirements are getting a bit too high.

A side note. If mainstream Microsoft apps end up jumping ship from x86 to ARM processors, we would again be in a situation where Apple is running on its own thing in the corner.

Monday, January 3, 2011

GCC on Mainframes

An awesome community effort, and an open letter to R.