Derivatives, Germs, and Algorithms
turbotodd 100000388Y Visits (2484)
What a week, huh?
Although I'm feeling much better about my world considering I didn't lose IBM $7.2B making fraudulent derivative trades.
No such luck for a 31-year-old trader at French bank Société Générale, who now is allegedly on the lam, and who overnight revamped former Barings trader Nick Leeson's career as a TV commentator.
It's been a busy news week in general, what with all the news and announcements from our friends coming out of Lotusphere down in Orlando, and the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Perhaps Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain said it best in Davos in this report from Bloomberg: "Fraud is the CEO's ultimate nightmare...You can have all the systems in the world, but you can't prevent fraud."
Maybe not, but many will be questioning how a 100,000 euros/year trader was able to let $7.2B slip through his bank's fingers.
While the executives were complaining about recession and fraud in Davos, Digg's CEO Jay Adelson was attempting to keep the crowd sourcing crowds from revolting on Digg.Com.
After Digg changed its news voting algorithm earlier this week, some top Diggers apparently held an emergency chat and podcast to discuss their response.
CEO Jay Adelson explained to Wired that "it wasn't a revolt," that it was a small group of users who "voice[d] their concerns."
Whether or not they storm the gates of Digg or not, it's pretty clear we've stepped from Web 2.0 into at least the Web 2.5 sphere:
"You can change my algorithm by prying that mouse out of my cold, dead fingers, mister!"
Mathew Ingram calls Digg a "social media Petri dish," and I would have to be inclined to agree with him.
I just hope that Kevin and Jay are wearing gloves and biohazard suits.
You never know what you might catch from the crowd.