Every five minutes a satellite captures images of China’s biggest cities from space. Thousands of miles away in California, a computer looks at the shadows of the buildings in the images and draws a conclusion: China’s real estate boom is slowing. Traders at BlackRock, the money management giant, then use the data to help choose whether to buy or sell the stocks of Chinese developers. “The machine is able to deal with some of the very complex decisions,” said Jeff Shen, co-chief investment officer at Scientific Active Equity, BlackRock’s quantitative trading, or quant, arm in San Francisco.
Sunday, November 20, 2016