Business and Economics > Investments: Options

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Mr. Armando Méndez Morales
Exchange rate flexibility has facilitated an impressively fast insertion of the Czech koruna and the Polish zloty into the global currency market. However, exchange rate volatility patterns differ: Lower volatility is observed for the koruna against the euro relative to the U.S. dollar, while the opposite is true for the zloty, apparently related to earlier financial integration of the Czech Republic with Europe and early dollarization in Poland as a result of initial higher inflation rates. By contrast, the currency options market shows enhanced information content of both currencies against the euro reflected in the behavior of their implied volatility.
Mr. Ian Domowitz
Automated trade execution systems are examined with respect to the degree to which they automate the price discovery process. Seven levels of automation of price discovery are identified, and 47 systems are classified according to these criteria. Systems operating at various levels of automation are compared with respect to age, geographical location, and type of securities traded. Information provided to market participants, and asymmetries of information between traders with direct access to the automated market and outside investors also are examined. It is found, for example, that the degree of asymmetric information increases with the level of automation of price discovery. The potential for trading abuses related to prearranged trading, noncompetitive execution, and trading ahead of customers is analyzed for each level of automation. Certain levels of automation widen the opportunities for trading abuses in some respects, but may narrow them in others.