Author Topic: IBKR - Interactive Brokers  (Read 185034 times)

Jurgis

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Re: IBKR - Interactive Brokers
« Reply #600 on: May 08, 2020, 02:54:15 PM »
Top comment from YC Hacker News related to the Bloomberg article (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23116898):

"On another aside, I have known folks who have worked at IB in the past, and their systems absolutely suck dead goats. Huge masses of legacy C++ code with poor testing. Most of these brokerage firms have legacy code base from the 90s that is poorly understood. They also have nonexistent organizational quotient around code validation, correctness and testing their risk models. A futures margin model is not something one can whip up over a weekend but a good CS undergraduate can program one over a couple months.

Sorry for the IB customers but I have zero sympathy for IB or should I say negative ;)"


 As markets keep doing things they have never done before, things tend to break.

Having worked in buy side in the past, most of tech is dated and buggy in the best of times... The companies were making upgrades and moving to new software but it takes many, many years to implement.


Side note, continued good employment opportunities for programmers since so many sectors besides finance need to upgrade their software.

Honestly, I was super surprised that negative contract prices did not fail or crash NYMEX or any other exchanges where they were traded. Kudos to programmers who implemented that correctly without much (if any) real world testing.
"Human civilization? It might be a good idea." - Not Gandhi
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KCLarkin

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Re: IBKR - Interactive Brokers
« Reply #601 on: May 08, 2020, 04:12:10 PM »
"On another aside, I have known folks who have worked at IB in the past, and their systems absolutely suck dead goats. Huge masses of legacy C++ code with poor testing.

"The reason that [programmers] think the old code is a mess is because of a cardinal, fundamental law of programming:
It’s harder to read code than to write it.” -- Joel

All Code is Legacy Code: https://medium.com/better-programming/all-code-is-legacy-code-4d3df80d0979

roark33

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LC

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Re: IBKR - Interactive Brokers
« Reply #603 on: May 08, 2020, 08:43:02 PM »
roark, thank you for posting. This was the problem:

Quote
Compounding the problem, and a big reason why Shah lost an unbelievable amount in a few hours, is that the negative numbers also blew up the model Interactive Brokers used to calculate the amount of margin -- aka collateral -- that customers needed to secure their accounts.

I actually posted this exact item here:
https://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/general-discussion/energy-sector/msg410462/#msg410462

Ultimately this is the point:

This is incredibly sloppy by IBKR. Incredibly. Risk management should be aware the collateral models they are using could not manage negative prices. In fact there should be an automated script that prevents these models even being used once prices go negative, i.e. if a customer tries to make a trade, it will lock them out as the product will not be priced as the model is shut off. Without a product price, the collateral requirement cannot be calculated and therefore the trade cannot be executed. Incredibly sloppy. Any of the CCAR banks would be broken in half by regulators if this ever happened. Trading desk heads and their entire teams would be fired. Which, it would not happen - internal controls are much stronger and FRB/OCC also perform their own exams testing these items annually and monitor results quarterly and desks perform these tests daily/weekly. IBKR should be ashamed - this is a rookie, rookie mistake.

And Petterfly is a damn bonehead for attempting to blame anyone other than himself and the knuckleheads he hired.

“That’s how it’s possible for these contracts to go absolutely crazy and close at a price that has no economic justification,” Peterffy said. “The issue is whose responsibility is this?”

 It's your responsibility, you dumbass. Don't be so cheap to hire dopeheads next time.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2020, 08:53:28 PM by LC »
"Lethargy bordering on sloth remains the cornerstone of our investment style."
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