James Simons, the legendary billionaire hedge fund manager, discussed his views on computer trading, a Brexit, the Trump versus Clinton presidential race and the need for more infrastructure spending in a wide-ranging interview Thursday on CNBC.
"By having a lot of fast trading, [bid ask] spreads have come way down, volumes have gone up," Simons said. "It's actually brought short-term volatility down, not up. So I think it's been good for the markets."
He added, "The computer has its opinions [on investments] and we slavishly follow them."
On governmental spending priorities he said: "We have neglected our infrastructure for 20 years. It will cost trillions to get it back to where it was. ... Now there is no better time to address ourselves to rebuilding America, rebuilding our infrastructure."
On Brexit "I give it 25 percent that it will be reversed one way or the other."
Simons is the founder of Renaissance Technologies, one of the most successful quantitative investment firms in history. Renaissance's main Medallion fund reportedly generated 71.8 percent annual returns from 1994 to mid-2014.
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