Writing



Invasion!
When I was 13 years old, I spent 3 days in the hold of a converted cargo ship, escaping a war zone with nothing more than what I could carry in a backpack. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

The Accidental Investor
I fell into finance by accident. Here’s how it happened.

So, You Want To Monetize Your Data
A growing number of firms have business plans that revolve around “monetizing the data”. It’s not that easy.

Explaining Rentec’s Returns
What lies behind Renaissance’s incredible returns? It turns out you don’t need to invoke magic, genius or skulduggery; what you see is exactly what you’d expect, given a few simple assumptions.

Alfred Winslow Jones: the Hidden Architect of Modern Markets
Let me tell you all about Alfred Winslow Jones. You may not have heard of him, but he’s one of the most important financiers of the 20th century.

Silk Ties and Suckers: A Trading Story
What does your counterparty know that you don’t?

Aliens Among Us
We search the skies for extraterrestrials, and we worry that software might achieve sentience. But alien intelligences already live among us; we just don’t recognize them.

Ambition Should Be Made of Sterner Stuff
In a memorable rallying cry, Marc Andreessen says “it’s time to build”. But why haven’t we been building? What went wrong?

High Frequency Macroeconomics
Empirical macroeconomics has been transformed by the newfound availability of granular, timely, accurate and above-all fast data from non-traditional sources.

Tracking the COVID-19 Economy in Real Time
A collection of real-time charts on the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, using unusual (but fast!) sources of data. (Now somewhat dated).

Pricing Curves for Data
Data behaves quite differently from other commodities, products and services – often in complex, non-intuituve, non-linear ways.

The Goldilocks Theory of Trading Regimes
It’s hard to make money in markets that are perfectly efficient or perfectly inefficient. What investors crave is a market that is moderate, predictable, and time-bound in its inefficiency.

Data-Driven versus Data-Informed: Two Philosophies of Investing
Do you let data tell you what to do in toto? Or is data merely one input into a non-generalizable process that ultimately relies on human judgement? This, increasingly, seems to be the key divide in active asset management.

A Fine Line Between Stupid and Clever
Everybody wants to be contrarian these days; they think it makes them look smart. But the thing about being truly contrarian is that it doesn’t make you look smart. It makes you look dumb.

APIs Are Eating the World
Software is eating the world – and APIs are how software talks to other software. That’s why so many of the hottest new tech companies, from Stripe to Shopify, are essentially just APIs.

How To Be An Excellent Failure
“Best practices” can be a trap. Functional excellence often breeds tunnel vision, and that way lies disaster.



Older Articles

Software Eats Marxism
Click-baity title, but the thesis holds: software has the ability to make central planning a feasible reality. (We call it aggregator theory nowadays).

Three Decades of Bond Arbitrage
A brief history of progress in a niche but lucrative field: from paper and calculators to real-time algorithms and high-frequency execution. I had a ringside seat.