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High Frequency PR

High Frequency PR

If you are a geek, you likely marvel at some of the tech behind high frequency trading. It is truly amazing how servers, interconnects and storage can be engineered to whittle the delays involved in transactions to the barest of micro or nanoseconds (or send info at “wire speed,” as they say in the trade).

However media reports sometimes take a dim view of the practice (full disclosure, Fusion PR for represents clients with technology used in high frequency trading).

The New York Times reported this week about efforts to change the image of the field. It said that companies are joining to form a trade group, and spending money on lobbying. They are even trying to change the name to “automated trading” (is this really an improvement)?

Although the focus of the article was more about lobbying, clearly this is about PR and image crafting too.  See below for an excerpt:

To make their case, the firms have formed their first industry trade group, hired former Securities and Exchange Commission staff members and spent nearly $2 million in the last few years on Washington lobbying and contributions to lawmakers. Some even want to be called “automated trading professionals” rather than high-frequency traders.

“Once the spotlight was placed on them they looked at each other, and said, ‘Us, evil? Are you kidding?’ ” said James J. Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University. “They are reacting in the same way as any threatened industry. They are stepping out of the shadows. They are trying to get their side of the story out.”

Regardless of what you think about the practice, can you fault them for wanting to get their side of the story out?

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