Opening Cross: Rudy the High-Speed Trader

Max presents a festive Christmas column for your entertainment


(To the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)

Rudy the old-school trader
Used to work the NYSE floor.
His knowledge of market data
Were the prices on the ol’ big board.
All day he yelled his lungs out
Occasionally he’d point and click.
That’s how the trading happened
Before it all turned algorithmic.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
After close on the NYSE,
His boss said “Boys, you just got fired.
We can’t compete with HFTs.”

Despite being disappointed
Rudy left the NYSE merry.
But not before he anointed
His boss’ desk with something smelly.
But Rudy the laid-off trader
Wouldn’t take this lying down.
And left the exchange determined
To be the best trader in town!

So back to school our Rudy went
To get a PhD.
He studied FISD’s FIA
And got a trial of IMD.

He learned how to code a program
For trading automatically.
And built his own algorithm
To execute his strategy.
He loaded it on a server
And put it in a co-lo site,
Signed up for market data
And left it running day and night.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
With turkey almost carved,
Rudy found a trade idea
That no one else had arbitraged.

He added it to his algo
And set up market connectivity
Then tested it on live data
And many years of history.
Once it was up and running,
Rudy’s nose began to glow
With glee, as he put his feet up,
Sat back, and watched his money grow.

Soon his algo strategy
Made him a trading giant.
But then the Attorney General called,
To try to catch him non-compliant.

They tested his infrastructure
To look for anything unfair.
But Rudy’s edge wasn’t cheating:
He beat the market fair and square!
His algo remained top secret,
A closely-guarded mystery.
But as long as it made him money,
He’d go down in history!

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say,
“You’ve been blessed with many gifts,
Why not share on Christmas Day?”

So Rudy skimmed off some profit
And wrote some checks to charity
And found that even more than trading
He really loved philanthropy.
Now Rudy’s a high-speed trader
With an unusual strategy:
By being a better person
He’ll go down in history!

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