Smooth Trading with Overconfidence and Market Power

We describe a symmetric continuous-time model of trading among relatively overconfident, oligopolistic informed traders with exponential utility. Traders agree to disagree about the precisions of their continuous flows of Gaussian private information. The price depends on a trader’s inventory (permanent price impact) and the derivative of a trader’s inventory (temporary price impact). More disagreement makes the market more liquid; without enough disagreement, there is no trade. Target inventories mean-revert at the same rate as private signals. Actual inventories smoothly adjust toward target inventories at an endogenous rate which increases with disagreement. Faster-than-equilibrium trading generates “flash crashes” by increasing temporary price impact. A “Keynesian beauty contest” dampens price fluctuations.


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