Will an extra second disrupt banking and trading systems ?

Because the earth rotation is slightly slowing, there is a need to add an extra second to sync clocks to the earth’s rotation. On June 30, a “leap second” will be added by the International Earth Rotation Service in Paris.

For us people, that action may be unnoticeable, but not so for computers. When a leap second was last added in 2012, Mozilla, LinkedIn, Reddit and other websites crashed. Will adding an extra second affect banking and trading platforms that are becoming increasingly dependent on the computers and the internet?

According to a report in the TelegraphUS delegates at the conference in Geneva in 2012, opposed adding leap seconds since this action may disrupt timed money transactions, among other things. However, experts believe that this is a better option than adding leap minutes in the future to catch up. The Earth’s rotation may also slightly speed up, so removing a second is also a possibility.



Seeking Alpha

Investors seek “alpha”.

Alpha is the measure of investment performance over a benchmark.

If your portfolio earned 11% and the benchmark (e.g. S&P 500, MSCI world, PSE All-Shares Index) earned 10%, your portfolio has an alpha of +1. If your portfolio return is 9% and the benchmark return is 10%, your portfolio has an alpha of -1.

If your portfolio has a negative alpha, it might have been better (and cheaper) if you just invested in a portfolio that tracks the benchmark.

This is probably why a very popular investment website is named Seeking Alpha.