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Money See, Money Do

by Edd Vick

Stock speculators are a normative force. They don't buy and sell based on what something is worth, but on what they think it's worth. In reaction to news, to tips, and to the state of their bunions they drive a stock's price up or down. I was one of them, blithely rewarding mediocrity and punishing more mediocrity. No more.

My office is a room twenty feet on a side with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the bay. Covering the floor are 230,400 microswitches each a quarter of an inch square mapped through my computer to all forty-one stock exchanges in the world. With each step I push down a couple of hundred switches, generating buy and sell orders. Some will exercise options, some will sell short. As each is triggered, it is randomly assigned a new order from ten to a thousand shares based on a bell curve.

Each weekday morning I cross from the door to the window, walking now here, now there, generating my thousands of orders. I check the weather, watch the fishing boats setting out, put a hand to the glass to feel the thrum of the wind. Then I leave the room to carry on with a day of anything but work.

And I grow richer. Where my money goes, others' money follows, making successes of my buys, failures of my sells.

You are invited to the party on Friday. In my office. There will be dancing.

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