Google has posted job ads for traders and analysts at its Mountain View headquarters, raising speculation on the wilder fringes of the Web that the search engine giant may be looking to start its own hedge fund.
The vacancies at Google were first spotted by Business Insider. Openings include trader of foreign government bonds, portfolio analyst for Google's US government bond portfolio, and a portfolio analyst for agency mortgage-backed securities.
Google is trying to make money out of its large cash reserves, says Business Insider, but a quick trawl through the archives generates plenty of copy for observers digging for deeper motives.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin once mused on the possibility of starting a hedge fund, but was reputedly talked out of it by partner Eric Schmidt.
At a media summit in Dubai earlier this month, Schmidt himself referenced the possibility of mining Google's vast reserves of query data to play the stock market, but quickly dismissed the notion. "One day we had a conversation where we figured we could just try to predict the stock market," he said. "And then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that."
Finextra verdict Why bother setting up your own hedge fund - and taking all the risks - when you can simply sell your data for a premium to existing traders? If it's conspiracy theories you're after, look no further than Google's recent hiring of Philip Brittan former global head of FX and economics at Bloomberg. Google Finance has yet to rattle any cages at Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg. Brittan's appointment may just signal the start of a more serious assault on this cosy market data duopoly.