March 24, 2010: "Instant-Messaging Networks and the Collective Genius of Profitable Day Traders", Serguei Saavedra (Northwestern University )

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When Mar 24, 2010
from 08:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Where Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
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Synchronicity has been called one of the most pervasive and mysterious drives in all of nature. Analyzing unique, fine-grained stock trader data on more than 1 million moment-to-moment trades and over 2 million instant messages for a two year period spanning the 2008 crash, we report three results regarding sync and performance. First, we find novel patterns of synchrony among stock traders and a positive association between it and profitability. Second, trade sync and profitability have a parabolic association. As traders move from asynchronic to highly synchronic trading their profits increase up to a threshold of sync and then reverse. Third, we find that traders' non-overlapping instant messaging networks trigger sync and explain its relation to system performance. We discuss how synchronicity may reduce information uncertainty and generate collective benefits in diverse human systems of collaboration and competition.

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