Seeker, Doer, Giver, Ponderer

James H. Simons likes to play against type. He is a billionaire star of mathematics and private investment who often wins praise for his financial gifts to scientific research and programs to get children hooked on math. But in his Manhattan office, high atop a Fifth Avenue building in the Flatiron district, he’s quick to tell of his career failings. (New York Times)

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Stock Traders Find Speed Pays, in Milliseconds

It is the hot new thing on Wall Street, a way for a handful of traders to master the stock market, peek at investors’ orders and, critics say, even subtly manipulate share prices. It is called high-frequency trading — and it is suddenly one of the most talked-about and mysterious forces in the markets. Powerful computers, some housed right next to the machines that drive marketplaces like the New York Stock Exchange, enable high-frequency traders to transmit millions of orders at lightning speed and, their detractors contend, reap billions at everyone else’s expense. (New York Times)

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