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Finance: High frequency trading and finance’s race to irrelevance

John Maynard Keynes very famously proposed that the actions of rational agents in a market were akin to a fictional newspaper contest, where entrants were asked to pick who, out of a set of six women, was most beautiful. Those who successfully picked the most popular face would be eligible to win a prize. Keynes asserted that a naive strategy in such a game would be for an entrant to pick based on their own personal opinion of beauty; and that a much more sophisticated strategy would be to make a selection based on the broader public perception of what beauty is. The underlying insight behind the Keynesian beauty contest when applied to the capital markets: that people value a stock not based on what they truly think believe the value is, but rather, on an assessment of what they think everyone else thinks its value is

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