High-frequency Trader Subjectivity: Emotional Attachment and Discipline in an Era of Algorithms

Christian Borch, Ann-Christina Lange

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

In this article, we examine the recent shift in financial markets toward high-frequency trading (HFT). This turn is being legitimized with reference to how algorithms are allegedly more rational and efficient than human traders, and less prone to emotionally motivated decisions. We argue that although HFT does not render humans irrelevant, it is leading to a reconfiguration of both the ideal trading subject and the human–machine relations. Drawing on interviews with and ethnographic observations of high-frequency traders, as well as HFT ‘how to’ books, we analyze the subjectivity and self-techniques of the ideal high-frequency trader. We demonstrate that these traders face the challenge of avoiding emotional interference in their algorithms and that they deploy a set of disciplinary self-techniques to curb the importance of emotional attachment.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftSocio-Economic Review
Vol/bind15
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)283-306
Antal sider24
ISSN1475-1461
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017

Emneord

  • Financial markets
  • Economic sociology
  • Skills
  • Sociology
  • USA

Citer dette

@article{efc659052c2a4fc4bb8d34d3711cd92e,
title = "High-frequency Trader Subjectivity: Emotional Attachment and Discipline in an Era of Algorithms",
abstract = "In this article, we examine the recent shift in financial markets toward high-frequency trading (HFT). This turn is being legitimized with reference to how algorithms are allegedly more rational and efficient than human traders, and less prone to emotionally motivated decisions. We argue that although HFT does not render humans irrelevant, it is leading to a reconfiguration of both the ideal trading subject and the human–machine relations. Drawing on interviews with and ethnographic observations of high-frequency traders, as well as HFT ‘how to’ books, we analyze the subjectivity and self-techniques of the ideal high-frequency trader. We demonstrate that these traders face the challenge of avoiding emotional interference in their algorithms and that they deploy a set of disciplinary self-techniques to curb the importance of emotional attachment.",
keywords = "Financial markets, Economic sociology, Skills, Sociology, USA, Financial markets, Economic sociology, Skills, Sociology, USA",
author = "Christian Borch and Ann-Christina Lange",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1093/ser/mww013",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "283--306",
journal = "Socio-Economic Review",
issn = "1475-1461",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "2",

}

High-frequency Trader Subjectivity : Emotional Attachment and Discipline in an Era of Algorithms. / Borch, Christian; Lange, Ann-Christina.

I: Socio-Economic Review, Bind 15, Nr. 2, 2017, s. 283-306.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - High-frequency Trader Subjectivity

T2 - Emotional Attachment and Discipline in an Era of Algorithms

AU - Borch, Christian

AU - Lange, Ann-Christina

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - In this article, we examine the recent shift in financial markets toward high-frequency trading (HFT). This turn is being legitimized with reference to how algorithms are allegedly more rational and efficient than human traders, and less prone to emotionally motivated decisions. We argue that although HFT does not render humans irrelevant, it is leading to a reconfiguration of both the ideal trading subject and the human–machine relations. Drawing on interviews with and ethnographic observations of high-frequency traders, as well as HFT ‘how to’ books, we analyze the subjectivity and self-techniques of the ideal high-frequency trader. We demonstrate that these traders face the challenge of avoiding emotional interference in their algorithms and that they deploy a set of disciplinary self-techniques to curb the importance of emotional attachment.

AB - In this article, we examine the recent shift in financial markets toward high-frequency trading (HFT). This turn is being legitimized with reference to how algorithms are allegedly more rational and efficient than human traders, and less prone to emotionally motivated decisions. We argue that although HFT does not render humans irrelevant, it is leading to a reconfiguration of both the ideal trading subject and the human–machine relations. Drawing on interviews with and ethnographic observations of high-frequency traders, as well as HFT ‘how to’ books, we analyze the subjectivity and self-techniques of the ideal high-frequency trader. We demonstrate that these traders face the challenge of avoiding emotional interference in their algorithms and that they deploy a set of disciplinary self-techniques to curb the importance of emotional attachment.

KW - Financial markets

KW - Economic sociology

KW - Skills

KW - Sociology

KW - USA

KW - Financial markets

KW - Economic sociology

KW - Skills

KW - Sociology

KW - USA

UR - https://sfx-45cbs.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/45cbs?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_ctx_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rfr_id=info:sid/sfxit.com:azlist&sfx.ignore_date_threshold=1&rft.object_id=111054307361010&rft.object_portfolio_id=&svc.holdings=yes&svc.fulltext=yes

U2 - 10.1093/ser/mww013

DO - 10.1093/ser/mww013

M3 - Journal article

VL - 15

SP - 283

EP - 306

JO - Socio-Economic Review

JF - Socio-Economic Review

SN - 1475-1461

IS - 2

ER -