Monday, June 26, 2006

Next Move

I am in the market for new opportunities. My interests are hedge funds, trading technology, .NET.

If you have something interesting going on, please email me at

I am going to take a few weeks off, investigate technologies that I have been too busy to investigate, and watch the rest of the World Cup.

©2006 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Things to Learn

Going through some of the reading from SIA. Tons and tons of stuff out there. On my "to-learn" list are:

MDDL - market data definition language, yet another XML-based way of transmitting financial info

Gigaspaces - grid-based infrastructure

Vhayu - real-time and historical data storage with real-time calculations and event broadcasting

Wombat - another high-speed market data and messaging platform

©2006 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Another Interesting Job Posting

They are located on the 4th floor of a building on Franklin Street, which is in the area of New York City called TriBeCa. In the old days, Franklin Street had many spacious lofts ... which got me thinking back to the days where a lot of young software companies worked out of lofts or apartments. In fact, in 1986, I worked for a young startup called Multex. There were 3 or 4 of us sitting in an apartment on West 53rd Street, coding apps for Goldman Sachs. Multex went on to expand, go public, and get bought out by Reuters.

Former Multex employee Brett Schlussman left just after me, and formed NetLogic with another former Multex guy (Michael St. Hippolyte) and a developer from Bankers Trust. They worked out of Brett's apartment in the 20's, taking Brett's Windows-based 3270 emulator that he developed for First Boston and selling it to Eicon.

We have interviewed a number of ex-Multex employees recently at Finetix. These were people who joined Multex after the Reuters merger. They had no idea that they were being interviewed by Multex employee number 5.

©2006 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

SIA Technology Show 2006

I stopped by the Securities Industry Association show at lunchtime today. Walked around the exhibit hall and saw 1000 different instances of "the Wall Street Stack". Ow .... my head hurt from thinking about how many times the same stack has been rewritten in different ways for the sole purpose of displaying real-time charts and blotters. If you were a financial software company, how much would you pay for a completely operational version of The Stack?

Picked up a least 50 magazines, newsletters, and newspapers on trading technologies (hardly anyone was giving out T-Shirts this year -- I am a real T-Shirt collector). Waters Magazine still seems to be the best one out there for hard-core Wall Street developers.

There was a nice article on pages 21 and 22 of the Summer 2006 issue of Windows in Financial Services on a framework that I helped architect at Wachovia last year. The framework is what they now call OneSource. Several apps in Wachovia are based on OneSource, and I am happy to report that the ClientNet application that I worked on last year is being rolled out worldwide at Wachovia. One of the mags had a nice bit on the adoption of grid technololgies within Wachovia --- my man R.O. rolled that stuff out.

Larry from Finetix gave a nice talk on Quality Assurance in Capital Markets. Hopefully, some past and current clients attended that one! Larry is one of the best in the business.

Fourth of July coming up .... we have to get ourselves out to Block Island

©2006 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Derman is in the House

Famed quant Emanuel Derman is blogging.

I just started reading his book My Life as a Quant. Interesting to read his experiences at Bell Labs at the start of the whole Unix/C movement in the late 1970's.

I will definitely have some more comments as I read through the book.

©2006 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 16, 2006

YABGT (Yet Another Bill Gates Tribute)

I will join all of the other bloggers out there and put in my two cents about Bill Gates.

I had my first and only brush with Gates back in 1991 or 1992. I was a contributing editor for Microsoft Systems Journal back in the old days. One day, I get a call from my editor. He tells me that Bill Gates is stopping in New York for a night, on his way back to Seattle from a European trip. He wanted to have dinner with the MSJ contributing editors to tell them about some exciting stuff in the industry. Would I be interested?

We all met at a Japanese hotel on Park Ave at 32nd St. This hotel had a beautiful restaurant, and Gates, being a sushi fanatic, reserved a tatani room for us.

We all get there at 8PM, and then in walks Gates, followed by his flack, Jon Lazarus (who used to be the publisher of MSJ). In attendance was myself, Ross Greenburg (author of RamNet, and later, some virus-checking program), Greg Comeau (author of Comeau C++), Charles Petzold (author of a book), and Tony Rizzo (my editor).

Gates turned out to be a great guy, despite the constant leg movements under the table. Very personable. He spent most of the night talking about getting Dave Cutler from DEC, and the new operating system he was working on (Windows NT). Every word was preceeded by a stern warning from Lazarus never to repeat what was said.

Of course, the very next week, PC Week featured a big story on Cutler and NT!!!

©2006 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Housing Price Futures

I heard about this on NPR radio the other day ... A great way of hedging a housing market. If you are buying now, and are afraid that the housing market might fall through the floor in your town, then you can short the housing future. If you think that your area might see an uptick in housing, then long the future.

(from a CBS Marketwatch article)

The Chicago Merc introduced cash-settled futures and options based on housing markets in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, as well as a weighted composite index.

The contracts are priced by multiplying the index value by $250; the average contract size for the various cities is roughly $55,000, although they vary by region, according to Sayee Srinivasan, associate director of research and product development at the CME. He said the exchange is considering adding contracts for other booming real-estate markets such as Phoenix and Orlando.

"The futures markets like volatility, so the contracts based on the most volatile housing markets might see the most volume," Srinivasan said.

For each region, there are four contracts, which expire on a quarterly basis, so there are currently contracts for August 2006, November 2006, February 2007 and May 2007.

Although the contracts have only been trading for a very short period, most of the interest is looking further out on the curve with the May 2007 contracts getting the most action initially, said Fritz Siebel, senior broker at Traditional Financial Services Inc.

There could be demand for longer-dated contracts, something the CME is considering if the existing contracts prove popular enough.

Siebel noted the early interest has been in derivatives based on hot West Coast markets in San Diego, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and also Miami on the East Coast.

©2006 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved