“Herif/Dude”: Personifying High-Frequency Trading in an Emerging Stock Market
Istanbul University, Turkey
In the Turkish stock market, Borsa Istanbul (BIST), from time to time since February 2016, a mysterious trader has been making the market. As this mysterious trader acted like “a giant bull in the china shop” and doubled the daily volume of the market, it attracted the attention of all relevant parties in the BIST. The Turkish observers named this mysterious trader as “Herif (the guy)” while non-Turkish observers coined the term “Dude.” After a growing “guess who game” on the identity of this mysterious trader, the broker firm revealed that it was actually an automated computer-based high-speed trading technology (so-called high-frequency trader (HFT)) acting in the market. Yet, the name “herif/dude” has prevailed. In an environment as the stock exchange that, in Simmelean sense, is supposed to be the most clear and emphatic expression of the flexibility and anonymity of money, an automated trading tool executing selling/buying orders according to certain algorithms was personified. In spite of the fact that the sociological enquiries on the transformation of stock markets from trading pits to click/screen trade (Baker, Abolafia, and Zaloom) and to the HFT (by MacKenzie, Knorr-Cetina, Preda, Lange, and Borch) provide an alternative track that diverge from a purely anonymous, de-personified and objective stock market, “Herif/Dude” case provides a real story that points a sociological understanding of HFT in an emergent stock market. This study analyzes “Herif/Dude” case in terms of post-social relationship, (de)personification, anonymity, subjectivity, masculinity, mundane politics of emergent financial markets, and the (new) role of brokers and traders based on the data derived from in-depth interviews with the relevant parties of BIST.
Towards Platform Pluralism? Professional Organizations, Regulation Struggles And The Development Of Corporatist Platforms
1University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; 2University of Fribourg, Switzerland
The rise of platforms as "new digital intermediaries" (Srnicek and De Sutter 2017) has shaken up many markets and industry sectors in recent years. Financially powerful and technologically sophisticated platforms such as Uber, Airbnb, or Deliveroo act as profiteers organizing new markets (Kirchner and Beyer 2016). Doing so, they pose challenges to the actors who so far dominated the markets – often organized professions such as taxi co-ops or associations of hotel owners, who risk losing control of market access and coordination, leading to reactions by professional organizations. The outcomes of the ongoing struggles over regulation of platforms differ. But even if platforms get regulated, the digital "logic" of organizing markets through digital marketplaces has wide-reaching consequences.
Many observers speak of an inherent trend to monopolization characterizing platform economies. Yet one also sees counter-trends towards platform pluralism. In this paper, we will focus on one of the ways professional organizations have tried to reclaim their control of markets: through "corporatist platforms" - i.e., platforms developed and managed by an organized profession or industry sector. While the rise of alternative platforms has been discussed under the label of "cooperative platforms" (Scholz 2016), we suggest the term corporatist platform to grasp the ways professional organizations act in the contested platform economy.
Based on a research project on regulation struggles and professional organizations in the platform economy in Switzerland, we propose an analysis of the development of such a platform in the Swiss hotel sector. The study shows that the development of corporatist platforms faces strong technological and cultural obstacles in contemporary platform economies.
Contractless Cooperation on Anonymous Online Markets. Why Actors Choose Advance Payments
1University of Essex, United Kingdom; 2Université de Montréal, Canada
Cryptomarkets offer anonymous environments wherein the use of digital technologies allow exchange partners to conceal their identities in order to complicate law enforcement interventions and facilitate illicit online commerce. The anonymity reduces the potential for interpersonal trust and provides ample opportunity for cheating, which are mitigated through the institution-based feedback system and an escrow payment system. Despite these safeguards, many customers still choose to transact with vendors by paying for products in advance, an option known as finalizing early (FE). Advance payments go beyond informal institutionalized standards offered by cryptomarkets and leave little leverage in case of conflict. Therefore FE appears as an unfavorable social practice.
Little is known about the reasons why customers choose to pay sellers in advance. To fill this research gap, we analyse market data on 30.000 transactions gathered via web scraping from two cryptomarkets. Regression analyses are used to examine the social mechanisms behind offering and choosing FE payment over/next to centralized escrow payment. The analyses emphasizes the relation between drug categories, price, shipping countries, customer feedback, seller’s reputation, and the buyer’s previous interactions with the sellers. The study provides new insights into the practices that promote, stabilize or weaken social cooperation on anonymous online markets. It reveals cross-national, reputation-related and substance specific differences in extra-contractual relationships between sellers and buyers.
Risks and Innovation In Public Procurement
1ISEL - Engineering Institute of Lisbon,Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon, POLITEC&ID; 2University of Évora – Department of Sociology, CICS.NOVA, SOCIUS/ISEG-UL and UMPP; 3University of Évora – Department of Economics, CICS.NOVA, CEFAGE-UÉ and UMPP; 4FCT, NOVA University, CIUHCT_ Interuniversity Center for the History of Science and Technology
The purpose of this paper is designing a conceptual model for the assessment of public procurement procedures. The proposed model is structured on a set of analytical dimensions, aiming at accomplishing public procurement processes which are aware of risks and fostering innovation. The research is developed with contributions from sociology, economy and engineering domains towards an integrated assessment framework. Low-risk options of selecting larger bidders guide decision-making practices overlapping merit proposals. Social and economic pressure for quality and reliability, have entailed decisions that are usually made on brand value and persuasion capabilities.
The existing imbalance between risk/trust of large companies and small start-up/spin-offs evidence unbalanced business opportunities. In this context, it is of paramount value that a conceptual tool for public procurement aimed at balancing both large and small company opportunities in public tenders.
We hypothesize that by reducing public expenditure, more value can be given to small and medium-sized companies provided they comply with the definition of standards, the design of reference models guiding product construction and impartial metrics, aimed at measuring competencies and product quality.
The existing asymmetry is an obstacle for public procurement for innovation to create new opportunity and reduce risk and constraint. Hence, the importance of creating systems of assessment and monitoring of strategic public procurement. However, assessment of procurement is a complex undertaking and struggles with challenges related to standardization, data collection as well as to methodological issues. As a result, assessment and monitoring still present critical gaps and still call for improvements.