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Opinion

Macaskill on markets: Naming rights and wrongs

As electronic trading is dragged blinking into the sunlight, more careful name choices for platforms and systems might be a good idea, if only from a public relations standpoint.

Jon Macaskill is one of the leading capital markets and derivatives journalists, with over 20 years’ experience covering financial markets from London and New York. Most recently he worked at one of the biggest global investment banks

Jon Macaskill is one of the leading capital markets and derivatives journalists, with over 20 years’ experience covering financial markets from London and New York. Most recently he worked at one of the biggest global investment banks

Defining equity block trading facilities as dark pools could hardly have been calculated to give a worse impression of the new venues, with connotations of secrecy and possibly malign intent.

Early names for algorithmic trading systems did not project a commitment to market stability or fair play either. Credit Suisse dubbed two of its systems Guerrilla and Sniper, while Deutsche Bank plumped for Stealth.

The industry has demonstrated a preference for ill-judged product names across different asset classes.

US hedge funds and trading firms based away from Wall Street have an odd tendency to choose names that appear to be designed to be scary.

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