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The microstructure of high frequency markets

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  • Rene Carmona
  • Kevin Webster

Abstract

We present a novel approach to describing the microstructure of high frequency trading using two key elements. First we introduce a new notion of informed trader which we starkly contrast to current informed trader models. We describe the exact nature of the `superior information' high frequency traders have access to, and how these agents differ from the more standard `insider traders' described in past papers. This then leads to a model and an empirical analysis of the data which strongly supports our claims. The second key element is a rigorous description of clearing conditions on a limit order book and how to derive correct formulas for such a market. From a theoretical point of view, this allows the exact identification of two frictions in the market, one of which is intimately linked to our notion of `superior information'. Empirically, we show that ignoring these frictions can misrepresent the wealth exchanged on the market by 50%. Finally, we showcase two applications of our approach: we measure the profits made by high frequency traders on NASDAQ and re-visit the standard Black - Scholes model to determine how trading frictions alter the delta-hedging strategy.

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  • Rene Carmona & Kevin Webster, 2017. "The microstructure of high frequency markets," Papers 1709.02015, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1709.02015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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