If the American public learned anything from the economic crisis, it was that the only thing we understand about Wall Street is that no one really understands Wall Street. Yet, into this mix of confusion and distrust steps Stephen Colbert, with a simple explanation of one of the most complicated parts of our financial system: high-frequency trading.
"Much like Maroon 5, computer traders make money just by churning out the same formula over and over again," he says.
Last night, Colbert tracked down one of Wall Street's most powerful mystery algorithms and attempted, as a mere mortal, to explain its convoluted mechanisms. Watch the epic battle between man and machine:
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