“A market without information doesn’t trade, doesn’t move anywhere. It’s illiquid. Nothing happens and everybody goes away — [that’s] the last thing anyone wants. So information ends up being the most critical thing of all.”
Philip Stafford of the Financial Times is both an insider and an outsider in the financial world. He does not make markets, code risk management software or hawk new share offerings to prospective clients. On the other hand, he speaks with people from all corners of the the financial universe, from exchange executives to government policymakers, and does trade in that one commodity that Gordon Gekko values most — information.
Stafford notes that while information is powerful, how to disseminate and describe it is of just as much import. Markets are chaotic, confusing mechanisms, and it is in the interest of many market participants who are in the know to maintain that perception. If only a handful of people understand some corner of the Chinese rebar futures market, then it is in their best interest to keep it that way. Otherwise, they risk diluting the value of their skillset.
Besides analyzing the role of information in markets in this MarketsWiki Education video, Stafford touches on a variety of topics from how to deal with inquisitive journalists to methods for discovering your true interests.