Jan.
7
2013

The rule of algorithms

We will see jobs vanish on robots and algorithms. The gap between the rich and the poor will widen. A new concept has to be made – according to Thomas Peterffy. Thomas Peterffy immigrated to the United States in 1965, became rich in a couple of years and is on the Forbes list. He invented algorithms that enable online trading.

What makes you critical about the Obama administration? What made you create an ad that opposes socialism?
Thomas Peterffy: Well, I believe that Obama’s policy increases the dependency between the government and the individuals. The government says the rich constantly exploit the poor which is not accurate. Their message to young people is that they should work for the government instead of establishing their own business. My point is that they should boost entrepreneurship.

You are known to have achieved great success by inventing an algorithm that enables online trading. This obviously led to an increasing volume in the stock markets. On the other hand, jobs disappeared. This had nothing to do with Obama.
Thomas Peterffy: Well, I mean this is normal. There are ongoing wars in the Middle East, robots and computers fighting each other.

What you are saying is that unemployment will rise.
Thomas Peterffy: In the short run, this is a huge problem. News technologies lead to the standardization of goods and products. Cost of production drops. This leads to monopolies. Economies are down but inflation goes up. If you should ask me what I would invest in, it would be soil.

Regarding a field you know pretty well, what’s your take on the brokerage businesses?
Thomas Peterffy: We execute a million transactions on a daily basis. The average price of one transaction is USD 2,65. We give loans at a 1,3% interest rate.

We made capital markets way more liquid.