Letter of the Law

Chris Pickles, head of industry initiatives, BT

If there’s one universal constant in the professional world, it’s that you’re only as good as your last success. In journalism it’s your last exclusive, and in sales it’s hitting your last target. In finance, meanwhile, it’s your last profit margin.

No matter how good your track record might be, however, past success guarantees you nothing—as the high-frequency trading (HFT) community found out last year with the Flash Crash. Algorithmic trading of the high-frequency variety was labeled as

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