Jan

18

There was an interesting segment on 60 Minutes on 64 year old Bill Walters who apparently is a very successful professional gambler in Las Vegas who uses statistics and inside information to be a winner.

I never heard of him before. Any thoughts or more information on this gentleman.

William Weaver writes:

Billy Walters…betting the opposite side of a weak line to change the spread and then simultaneously hitting multiple venues for much larger orders before the line is updated.

Not too long ago when the price discovery of metals markets was floor-based, dealers would do the same exact thing, or at least try to, all day long. They would have a couple of different brokers in the pit each bid for a 100 lots of silver knowing that the locals would in turn bid in front of them a half-penny higher. All the while the dealer had a customer on the phone who doesn't have access to the floor and has no idea what is going on other than the prints on his screen. The price goes up and the dealer unloads his physical inventory to the customer, a presumed buyer.

If the customer is a presumed seller, say a producer, the routine is reversed.

It's all perfectly legal, and not remotely unethical as the dealer stuck his neck out by putting large bids or offers out there that could very well have been hit.

Such a seeming advantage is all part of any market's ecology and does not come without a price. There's always some barrier to entry, a hurdle that first must be overcome before exerting that kind of leverage.


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