Accepted paper:

Being bounded in a boundless world: high frequency trading algorithms in the Republic of Macedonia

Authors:

Ilka Thiessen (Vancouver Island University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will introduce survival strategies of computer engineers in Macedonia who seek to make a living with forex. I will explore the personal aspects of a global economic transaction for peoples identity.

Paper long abstract:

I am looking at how computer engineers in Macedonia use their knowledge of algorithms to transcend borders to partake in high frequency trading. Their aim is not to become wealthy, but to substitute their meagre incomes by earning 50 to 100 Euros a month with long thought-out strategies for the Forex market. Macedonians cannot own bank accounts abroad. Several strategies ensued to be able to access the global world of Forex, including relatives immigrating to Australia and opening an account for my interlocutors, reigniting relationships of their lives in Yugoslavia, for example entrusting friends of friends in Slovenia thousands of Euros to open accounts there, all the way to becoming Bulgarian citizen. Bulgaria was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of the Republic of Macedonia in 1991, but always insisted that the people living there were Bulgarians. It is from this 'kinship' that Macedonians can receive a Bulgarian passport, access a Schengen visa, and a Forex account. The traders are always having to invent new strategies to circumvent laws and regulations that are being put in place making it again and again impossible for the traders to trade. As example, one trader has been working over the last nine years to become a Bulgarian citizen in order to have access to a Forex account. Just when he holds his new passport in his hands rumours have it that now one has to physically live in Bulgaria to open an account. Nevertheless, he has started trading in Forex.

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