I was introduced to the concept of arbitrage at my first job on a convertible arb trading desk, 32 years ago. Back then, arbitrage meant exactly what it was supposed to — a riskless opportunity to extract profits from a relative mispricing of multiple securities. In plain English, when information is scarce, buyers and sellers tend to price similar assets inefficiently. That results in an opportunity where one could simultaneously buy and sell the same thing at different prices, generating a guaranteed profit.
This was free lunch.
The advent of trading technology, speed and transparency has virtually eliminated every arbitrage…
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