Sunday, October 10, 2010

60 Minutes - October 10, 2010

Kroft: computers trade all stocks nowadays
which is not unexpected if you’ve seen the Terminator movies

Audience: awesome

Kroft: Big banks own computers which
on their own trade a billion shares of stocks a day

Audience: how nice

Kroft: Do humans do any trading?

Computer trading guy: hell no humans
are slow and stupid

Kroft: why would you buy a stock and
hold it 30 seconds?

Owner: it’s called buy hold and dump dude

Kroft: how do you make money doing that?

Owner: did you ever seen Superman III
with Richard Pryor?

Kroft: yes

Owner: we make 40 million pennies a day

Kroft: so the computers don’t know if the
CEO is a crook or having an affair

Owner: right - it’s all math

Kroft: you take human beings out of capitalism

Owner: it seemed only logical

Other guy: you can’t make money
doing this without cheating

Kroft: they’re not cheating - they just
have fast computers

Other guy: that is cheating Steve

Kroft: traders will pay for access to information
normal people can’t get

Stock Exchange guy: right it’s genius

Other guy: this is more cheating

Kroft: but it’s only for milliseconds

Other guy: you poor deluded fool

Kroft: but doesn’t this create jobs?

Other guy: no it’s just guys rigging a casino

Stock exchange guy: look if you’re holding stocks long-term don’t worry if the computers will become self aware and foreclose on your house

Kroft: the chances of that happening are slim

Stock exchange guy: right like one in five

Sen. Kauffman: did you ever seen
2001: A Space Odyssey - these computers may
kill us all for no reason!

Kroft: that almost happened last year

Schapiro: that was scary

Kroft: should we put computers in charge of our retirement funds?

Schapiro: Algorithms almost sold the US government to China last spring

Sen. Kauffman: there are a small number of people swimming in a river of wealth

Stock guy: we have to trick people into putting all their money into a system clearly rigged by a select few to get rich using computers you can’t see or use

Kroft: of course

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