Recent Protests

It is appalling that a certain race has to fear for their lives in this day in age. It is sickening that nothing has been done to rectify this injustice. It is frightening that we can no longer trust authorities. It is sad that we fear those who are supposed to protect us.

Prospectus for Public Argument Project

I have decide to pursue the same topic as the previous paper, high frequency trading. As an active trader in the market, I have experienced, first hand, the effects of high frequency trading. I first discovered the issue upon the release of Michael Lewis’s book “Flash Boys”. I read the book, and noticed that the problems he addressed were the same ones that I was having. It was from that moment that I chose to learn more about the practice. It is an issue that affects professionals of the markets worldwide. The practice should be brought to light and show the consequences of automated trading.

I intend to explore the obvious question of the practice: is it ethical or not? I also plan to investigate the consequences of the practice, as well to disprove popular misconceptions. My intention is to write a white paper to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which the regulatory body of the financial markets, in an effort to pursued them to regulate the practice. It is already aware that professional traders experience the effects of high frequency trading, so I feel that providing a retail trader’s perspective of the practice can provide the commission with a differing point of view. Since I will be writing to group of professionals, I will need to structure my paper to appeal to such audience. To do so, I will be heavily using academic journals, with a ratio of 3:1 academic sources to popular. If it were not for the requirements of the paper, I would only use academic sources, because I feel that would appeal the greatest to my audience.

Succo Interview RefAnnBib

Wolf Hunter of Wall Street RefAnnBib

Ethics of HFT RefAnnBib

Financial Fairness RefAnnBib

Project Plans

I have a fairly rough outline of how I want to structure my paper. I am opposed to the practice of high-frequency trading. I am thinking of doing a white paper for the SEC (regulatory commission of securities) showing them the negative aspects of the practice and why they should regulate it. I will definitely be using charts within the paper and will be explaining the charts and referring back to them. I feel that this is the most effective way to increase my ethos.

My only concern would be how I would address the counter argument and state why it is not valid, without ruining my ethos.

Working with sources

Original Summary:

Brad Katsuyama came to work on Wall Street when he was twenty three. He worked for Royal Bank of Canada, trading energy stocks, then tech stocks. He soon became head of that desk, managing about twenty people. In 2006, RBC bought an electronic trading firm. That is when Katsuyama says “all of our troubles began”(Lewis). At first, Katsuyama thought that it was only and internal problem, but after speaking to some friends at other large banks and hedge funds, he found out that the problem was systematic. Everyone was experiencing it. He turned the blame to the newly acquired electronic trading firm. Katsuyama found out that some funds and banks have been using algorithms to trade the market at lightening speed, a practice known as high-frequency trading. Brad Katsuyama left RBC to create a new exchange, one that is not dominated by “quant” traders. The effects of high-frequency trading are highly noticeable, and have had a profound effect on the markets.

Revised Summary:

Royal Bank of Canada, the fifth largest bank in the United States, was a complete nobody on Wall Street. That was where Brad Katsuyama took his first job on the Street at the age of twenty three. In his early years at the bank, Katsuyama traded energy stocks, then tech stocks. He eventually went on to become head of that trading desk. RBC had bought an electronic trading firm in 2006, which is when “his troubles began”(Lewis). Initially, Katsuyama thought the problem was strictly internal. But, by June 2007, “the problem had grown too big to ignore”(Lewis). There was no way that this was an internal problem. He started calling friends from other banks and hedge funds and “he came to realize that they were dealing with the same problem”(Lewis). The newly acquired electronic trading firm soon found the blame. As it turns out, they, along with other banks, have been using algorithms to trade the market at lightening speed, a practice known as high-frequency trading. Katsuyama has had enough of it. He left RBC to create his own exchange, one that is not dominated by “quant” traders.

Lewis, Michael. “The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Apr. 2014. Web. 06 Nov. 2014.

They Say/I Say Intro&Chp 1


In the introduction of the book They Say/I Say, the authors introduce the use of templates as a means of structuring one’s essay. The authors argue that the templates they employ allows a writer to structure an essay such that there is a clear argument. There is no simple “yes or no” answer to these arguments. They are more thought out and complex, and require a bit of thinking.

I personally feel that these templates are an excellent way to structure an essay. One of the hardest parts of writing is to create a clear and concise argument; one that cannot simply be answered using one word. The templates assist the writer in creating an argument in which he/she is stating their opinion, and analyzing the opinions of others.

Chapter 1:

In chapter one, their main point is to emphasize the focus on what others are saying. One’s argument is built on the basis of the arguments of others. Without a clear understand of what others are saying, our own argument will not make sense and fall apart.

“Instead of opening with someone else’s views, you could start with an illustrative quotation, a revealing fact or statistic, or a relevant anecdote.” (pg. 20)

“Remember that you are entering a conversation and therefore need to start with ‘what others are saying’ and introduce your own ideas as a response.” (pg. 18)

“To keep an audience engaged, a writer needs to explain what he or she is responding to either before offering that response or, at least, very early in the discussion.” (pg. 17)

Question: How do you effectively explain to the reader what we are responding to, without giving away our entire paper? (Essentially, making it pointless for the reader to continue)

Instead of opening with someone else’s views, you could start with an illustrative quotation , a revealing fact or statistic, or— as we do in this chapter— a relevant anecdote.

Graff, Gerald; Birkenstein, Cathy (2007-08-17). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves that Matter in Persuasive Writing (p. 20). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Instead of opening with someone else’s views, you could start with an illustrative quotation , a revealing fact or statistic, or— as we do in this chapter— a relevant anecdote.

Graff, Gerald; Birkenstein, Cathy (2007-08-17). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves that Matter in Persuasive Writing (p. 20). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Instead of opening with someone else’s views, you could start with an illustrative quotation , a revealing fact or statistic, or— as we do in this chapter— a relevant anecdote.

Graff, Gerald; Birkenstein, Cathy (2007-08-17). “They Say / I Say”: The Moves that Matter in Persuasive Writing (p. 20). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.


Revising Attitudes

What comes to mind when I think of “revising” my writing, is completely doing my paper over. I remember in my senior year of high school, I had to revise a comparative analysis. The process was extremely arduous. I ended up rewriting the entire paper. Although the process was a huge pain, the paper did turn out very well. Revising is changing anything that needs to be changed in terms of context. Editing is more focused on grammatical changes. Proofreading is going through the paper after both have been done to ensure that there are no more mistakes. I completely agree with Brock Dethier, mainly because I can relate to his writing. I dread revising papers. Like number 7 under “Resistance to Revision”, I “don’t have time to revise”. That is the main reason for my negative attitude towards revision. I feel that it takes way too long to revise my papers.

Writer’s Notes: Rhetorical Analysis

I completed my zero draft for the assignment on Monday, and will now pursue in creating a draft. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the assignment, mainly re-reading my articles. I’ve listed the rhetorical tools that both articles use, how they use it, and how it affect the way the articles are interpreted. I’ve also spent some time creating an outline, thinking about how I want to structure the paper. After giving it much thought, I finally found out how I am going to approach the piece. It is going to be interesting to see how it will come out, since the audience in mind are now professionals in the industry. My biggest struggle is not that I can’t write like the professionals; in fact, I can write just like them. The struggle is going to come from placing footnotes to define terms that are not familiar to the average person.

Annotated Bibliography

1) Chilton, Bart. “No Need to Demonize High-Frequency Trading.” DealBook No Need to Demonize HighFrequency Trading Comments. New York Times, 7 July 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

In his article, Chilton argues that high-frequency trading has been beneficial to the markets, as opposed to some of the commonly seen articles. Words such as “predatory” and “toxic” have been used to describe the practice. Many have been so focused on the negatives that they never stopped to look at the positive effects. Some of the positive effects include increased liquidity, smaller bid-ask spreads, and a decrease in volatility.

2) Lewis, Michael. “The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 31 Mar. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

Brad Katsuyama worked at RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) during the time of the crash. RBC wasn’t even on Wall Street’s map at the time. They were certainly a big player, but not in the CDO business. At RBC, Katsuyama, a trader, saw that when he entered his orders, they would not always go through. It happened repeatedly. At first, he thought it was just RBC’s systems. But, after talking to many of his trader friends from different firm, he found that they were having the same problem too. After a lot of research, he found that there were people running ahead of his orders. They were executing their orders faster than he can.

3)Patterson, Scott. “High-Frequency Trader Charged With Market Manipulation.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 2 Oct. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

The first high-frequency trader has been charged under the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Act has been trying to crack down on illegitimate trading practices after the market crash of 2008. Michael Coscia was charged for “spoofing”. Spoofing is the practice of creating trading algorithms that would initiate a trade, and the trade a fraction of a second later, to move the market in his favor. He was charged on six counts of spoofing, each with a consequence of up to 25 years in prison a $250,000 fine.

4) Rotbult, Charles. “How Does High-Frequency Trading Affect Individual Investors?” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

Many individual investors tend to think that high-frequency trading has a profound impact on them. In fact, for most, investors, high frequency trading is irrelevant to them. They should not view HFT as a problem, but rather as a solution. HFT has significantly improved market making, thus creating more liquidity. To much surprise, HFT has, in some ways, increased the profitability of investors. It has decreased the spread between the bid-ask spread, allowing the individual investor to buy and sell at a much closer price.

Rhetorical Analysis Formal Proposal

The topic I intend of pursuing for my Rhetorical Analysis is High Frequency Trading, or HFT for short. Here is how HFT works: A trader, typically with a strong math or programming, who are known as “quants”, develop algorithms based on price and/or chart patterns. They then plug these algorithms into a computer which executes thousands and millions of trades in seconds, hence the nickname “flash trading”. They try to capture a one cent profit which, on thousand and millions of trades a second, becomes highly profitable. It sounds like a genius way to make money in the markets for those able to create such algorithms. So, why all of the controversy? Many believe that these traders have a millisecond advantage over the others. This may sound like nothing, but with an enormous amount of volume per second, a millisecond could very well be a ten minute advantage. Also, with the incredible speeds of their computers, many feel that these “quants” can see trades even before the exchanges receive them.

I chose this topic because it is something that affects me directly. I am an active trader in the markets, and I would like to see if these quants are running ahead of my trades. Also, it intrigues me how they are able to execute such trades in vast amount of volume without having a highly noticeable effect on the market. I have heard arguments that say HFT has helped the markets tremendously, and their evidence is solid.

I do have a question regarding the paper. Since my topic is highly technical, may I start the paper by giving some information about the terminology I will be using and how the market operates? That way, the unaware reader can follow along with, hopefully, little to no confusion.

The Rhetorical Situation

In Lloyd F. Bitzer’s The Rhetorical Situation, he talks about the specifics of rhetoric. He mentions the importance of identifying your discourse. But, he also states that “it is clear that situations are not always accompanied by discourse”. (pg. 2) According to Bitzer, the most important aspect to consider in rhetoric is the situation. He says, “So controlling is situation that we should consider it very ground the very ground of rhetorical activity.” (pg. 5) There are three constituents of any rhetorical situation: exigence, audience, and constraints. Bitzer defines rhetorical situation as ” a complex of persons, events, objects, and relations presenting an actual or potential exigence which can be removed”. (pg. 6) Lastly, according to Bitzer, rhetorical exigence is all around us because the world invites change. This change alters any given situation.

Bitzer stresses the importance of situation in rhetoric. He provides numerous examples where he proves that without knowledge of the situation, the rhetoric is completely thrown off. Specifically, on page 5, Bitzer mentions the importance of the speeches following the assassination of President Kennedy. If not for that situation, the speeches would have been seen as pointless and random. It is important to understand the situation around you to properly gauge your exigence, audience, and constraints. More importantly, you should understand that any given situation has the ability to change. Thus, you must adapt to the altering situation to adequately satisfy the changing rhetorical needs.

Question: How does one satisfactorily prepare a rhetorical situation, when he/she is unable to gauge the audience?


Emma Watson’s Speech:

Exigence- Gender equality. More specifically, women not being paid the same as men for equal amounts of work.

Audience- The UN general counsel, feminists, and anyone with the ability to make a difference.

Constraints- Appealing the topic of feminism to men; trying not to make feminism sound like a hatred of men.