SSC Seminar Series: Laureen Snider

Laureen Snider, Professor emeritus
Sociology, Queen's University
Co-investigator, The New Transparency

Surveillance, Stock Markets and Everyday Life

Wednesday, April 4
12:30pm to 2:00pm
Location: Mac-Corry Room D411, Queen's University

This presentation examines the transformation of stock market trading through surveillance technologies and the theoretical, cultural and political effects of this transition. Market trading today is conducted via algorithms through banks of computers simultaneously accessing multiple data sets which generate thousands of buy and sell orders per second. The interactions of these high frequency trades (HFT) have created unpredictable, uncontrollable feedback loops which pose significant risk to world capital markets, which the jobs and pensions of millions of people depend upon (as illustrated in the 2010 “flash crash” and the 2008 financial crisis). The presentation first traces the rise of surveillance technologies in global capital markets, arguing that these “innovations” have generated windfall profits for elite financial firms – Wall Street banks and their global equivalents - and enormous risk for everyone else. Second, it demonstrates the negative impact High Frequency and associated practices have had on the regulation and policing of stock market fraud.

Everyone welcome!