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The Twilight Zone

I came across the term ‘Twilight Pool’ for the first time this week. The basic idea is that it is essentially a dark pool that lights up certain pieces of information, or at certain times, in order to provide users with some idea of what is or isn’t lurking there. The advantage is that it enables participants to see if the type of liquidity they’re seeking (either in terms of name or size) is likely to be in that pool. Obvious applications would be in the new-fangled SEF zone where everyone is scratching their heads wondering how and where illiquid contracts are going to trade. This is even more relevant if the lighting can be customised according to who is looking. In this way the prices can be ‘painted’ to reflect, for example, the credit status of a particular counterparty. Another application might be with the broker crossing networks that MiFID is looking to make more transparent with its proposed 4% and 8% dark trading rules. Either way, it proves yet again how markets will always be able to innovate faster than regulators can pass laws.

Comments
3 Responses to “The Twilight Zone”
  1. Steve says:

    I’ll bet this will give the HFT guys a twinkle in the algo.

  2. Tom Riesack says:

    And thank god for the inventiveness of markets, Steve. Just having had a discussion with a head of trading, who was fearing that innovation will just dry up as regulatory matters (in our discussion case the UTI) will dominate minds – to see that innovation is still there and thriving is a good sign.

    Best, Tom

  3. George says:

    This, of course, is what Pipeline used to do. They would indicate to members that liquidity existed in a particular symbol, at a sensible price (between the spread of the primary exchange if I remember correctly) at a sensible size; but obviously withheld information about direction etc…

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