Celebrating Three Decades of Worldwide Stock Market Manipulation

8 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2019

Date Written: November 20, 2019


As the decade turns, we reflect on nearly thirty years of successful manipulation of the world's public equity markets. This reflection highlights a few of the key enabling ingredients and lessons learned along the way. A quantitative understanding of market impact and its decay, which we cover briefly, lets you move long-term market prices to your advantage at acceptable cost. Hiding your footprints turns out to be less important than moving prices in the direction most people want them to move. Widespread (if misplaced) trust of market prices - buttressed by overestimates of the cost of manipulation and underestimates of the benefits to certain market participants - makes price manipulation a particularly valuable and profitable tool. Of the many recent stories heralding the dawn of the present golden age of misinformation, the manipulation leading to the remarkable increase in the market capitalization of the world's publicly traded companies over the past three decades is among the best.

Keywords: market manipulation, price impact, portfolio strategies, algorithmic trading, overnight returns, market closure, anomalies, transaction costs, wealth inequality

Suggested Citation

Knuteson, Bruce, Celebrating Three Decades of Worldwide Stock Market Manipulation (November 20, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3490879 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3490879

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