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Sunday, June 23, 2024

EP 049: Exposing the ‘cheats’ on Wall Street, with HFT whistle-blower – @HaimBodek

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There’s a very special guest on the podcast this week, who I’m excited to introduce…

His name is Haim Bodek, although some refer to him as ‘The Algo Arms Dealer’ (and I totally understand why).

Haim began his trading career at Hull Trading, a prestigious firm well known for driving forward innovation in the domain of automated trading. Following Hull, Haim then went into significant roles at Goldman Sachs, and UBS – which are all discussed during the interview.

But to further set the scene, in 2007 Haim founded Trading Machines, a high frequency trading operation. At the peak, Trading Machines accounted for 0.5% of all options trading volume, with a team of 25 (one of who, was Bryan Wiener of EP 040).

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All was well for a couple years until the beginning of 2009, when Trading Machines ran into issues and began to bleed money, for unknown reasons. Until Haim later discovered, at the root of the problem were secretive order types being used by a select few firms, giving them an unfair advantage to front-run the orders of other participants.

With this discovery, Haim went to the SEC to raise his concern about such order types – little did he know at the time, that this would be the beginning for one of the most sophisticated and complex investigations carried out by the SEC to date. So of course, we speak about all of this in much more detail during the interview.

And we also speak about another fascinating topic – which is, Payment for Order Flow. Haim shares with us what is really happening to your orders after you click the button to buy or sell – you might even be surprised to find out that a large majority of retail orders, never even make it to an exchange…



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