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Have you ever heard of Robert Mercer? Probably not unless you’re a Wall Street broker who specializes in high-frequency trading. Mr. Mercer is a mathematician and competitive poker player who spent his early career at I.B.M., and subsequently joined the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies in the 1990s and where he rose to become the co-chief executive, earning hundreds of millions of dollars along the way via the spectacular success of the hedge fund’s flagship Medallion Fund.
Renaissance Technologies is an early pioneer of quantitative trading, where research scientists tap decades of diverse data to assess the statistical probabilities for fluctuations in securities prices for any given market. Using computer-based models to synthesize terabytes of data daily, and having extracted information signals from petabytes of data for nearly two decades, Renaissance has demonstrated an almost uncanny ability to manipulate enormous amounts of data by deploying highly efficient and scalable technological architectures in executing its pattern recognition strategies that have resulted in a history of consistent success in not only beating but also influencing the securities markets. Under Robert Mercer, Renaissance Technologies has become a pioneer in what has become known as Big Data, which through content analysis technologies, is currently being deployed by the companies like Cambridge Analytica to analyze social media in order to predict the outcomes of political movements and even elections.
Mercer has not limited his activities to just Flash Boy trading on Wall Street. A neo-conservative, Mercer has increasingly moved into the political sphere bankrolling ultra-right think tanks such as The Cato Institute and Super PACs like American Crossroads, Club for Growth Action, Freedom Partners, plus data-mining organizations like Media Research Center to, as the New York Times puts it: “carve an idiosyncratic path through conservative politics, spending tens of millions of dollars to outflank his own party’s consultant class and unnerve its established powers”.
Mercer has also been a financial backer for the Breitbart News organization and a close associate of its former CEO Steve Bannon, the recently-deposed chief strategist and senior counselor to President Donald Trump, whose presidential campaign Mercer also backed along with that of Senator Ted Cruz earlier in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
Here’s a look behind the curtain at the secretive, eccentric Tech Bro who just might have been responsible for hijacking the 2016 election for his Right Wing cronies. Hint: It was not the Russkies….
First aired on The RealNews Network.