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GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM OPERATING SMOOTHLY: Remember how the Dow dropped 700 points in fifteen minutes between 2 and 3 p.m. today, and then got back 500 of those points a few minutes later? Some dingbat computer went nuts or whatever: “NEW YORK (Reuters) – A trading error at a major firm was to blame for the day’s market plunge, CNBC reported on Thursday. Separately, Nasdaq said it was working with other major markets to review the market activity that occurred between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.” Ha ha, yes, “trading error.” GREATEST SHORT SELL IN HISTORY! Everyone in America wins. UPDATE: Oh my god. Is this really allowed to happen? “According to multiple sources, a trader entered a ‘b’ for billion instead of an ‘m’ for million in a trade possibly involving Procter & Gamble, a component in the Dow.” He works for Citigroup. [Reuters]

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64 COMMENTS

  1. Fucking Skynet. It’s not bad enough it kills us with free porn and makes bad sequels, but now it’s gotta make us broke.

  2. This is a great story except for the 348-point plunge of the Dow today, and the 3.25% plunge of the S&P500. The S&P is down 6% so far this week. The “trading error” tale is very comforting, though!

  3. It’s a good thing out financial overlords are all calm, rational and clearheaded, instead of being jittery paranoids who will panic at the first sign of what appears to be bad news.

    Cocaine really is a hell of a drug.

  4. On the bright side, Goldman Sachs (GS) closed at $142.32, off its 52 week high of $193.60, and British Petroleum (BP) closed at $50.53, off its 52 week high of $62.38, so… win? Truly, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody…

  5. Remember that “transaction tax” that was briefly proposed, at least in part, to make it so the big trading firms had an incentive to not make pointless trades or discourage algorithmic systems where computers do huge numbers of totally automated trades?

    The more I think about that the more I like it D:

  6. Goldman makes money on volume, volume, volume.

    There was a hilarious CNBC bit earlier with Cramer freaking out. P&G was down something like 30%. They are watching the numbers in realtime, with trade volumes and the whole works. Just like every day.

    So, since every dickhole watching CNBC is seeing they can pick up P&G right now for super cheap and sell in half an hour when the price recovers, the price recovers right before Cramer’s eyes.

    Cramer explains this by saying the machines must be broken and there will be a formal inquiry. That never happened. Those trades never took place, this whole thing is a broken machine problem.

    Here’s the Cramer video on YouTube. He is the most vapid, inane, vacuous moron that ever wore a poly-cotton blend shirt: http://bit.ly/cK6xOO

  7. It’s time to shutdown NYSE, NASDAQ and replace them with a game like Farmville on Facebook. Seriously, could it really be any worse?

  8. So NASDAQ will be “working with other major markets to review the market activity that occurred between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.”

    That is so much whistling-past-the-graveyard b.s. In the time it takes to simply speak that pablum out loud the various hedge funds and quant machines will have executed hundreds of thousands of transactions. On Wall Street, what happened three hours ago may as well have happened a million years ago.

  9. It plunged in about 15 minutes then popped right back up. The rumor is that someone at Citi put in a sell order for Proctor and Gamble in the billions when they meant to do it in the millions. Since P&G is part of the index, the whole index fell and people panicked for a few minutes.

  10. So will another Wall Street honk respond with another angry tirade about how the American people should keep their noses out of Wall Street’s business? How if we regulate their activities, they will retaliate by taking our jobs?

  11. Could that trader come for my bank? It would be nice for him to move the decimal point on my balance a spot or two to the right.

  12. >working with other major markets to review the market activity that occurred between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

    Unless this involves wiring the jaws of everyone at Moody’s and S&P, I’m not particularly optimistic that this will mean anything.

  13. Does anyone remember the commercial from, I’m guessing, the mid Nineties that featured a very Dickensian broker’s office where these old guys in old suits sitting in old leather chairs were conducting trades basically with paper and telegraph, while the fancy new firm who the ad was for was being touted for its speed and efficiency? Can we go back to those days where it would actually take, like, weeks to execute a trade for a billion fucking shares?

  14. Millions, billions, who cares? The stock market is grossly overvalued in any event – as is Western Civilization in general. We’re living on borrowed money and borrowed time.
    And then there will be an ice age and everything will smooth itself out, but as JM Keynes so optimistically put it, in the long run we’re all dead. Get out while the going is still good Ken.

  15. I don’t think any person in his/her right mind would believe for a second that this was an error. If you were looking at the ticker, it had been drifting steadily downward, and by larger increments, for most of the day. Market patterns behaved similarly when Lehman collapsed, and Greece is the New Lehman, until tomorrow, when Portugal is the New Lehman, and Monday, when Spain is the New Lehman.

  16. Only one letter stands between “b” and “m” on a qwerty keyboard. And that letter is “n”… as in “nitwit” or “nincompoop” or “noodlebrain” or “nice knowin’ ya… have fun at your next job.”

  17. If only our public schools concentrated a bit more on the typing classes and a bit less on the standardized tests. Somehow that means this is all Obama’s fault.

  18. The good news is that the big corporations had the opportunity to buy up a lot of their own stock on the cheap.
    A “b” instead of an “m” indeed.

  19. Here’s my sure-fire plan to ensure that this sort of thing never happens again:

    1. Consolidate all financial exchanges into one Twitter-like website
    2. Restrict each trade to 140 shares
    3. ???
    4. PROFIT!

    I’ve already register the domain names “twader.com”, “twicker.com”, and “twocker.com” — anyone interested in getting in on the ground floor of a highly lucrative, can’t lose, once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity is strongly encouraged to contact me at their earliest possible convenience.

    DON’T DELAY — UNTOLD RICHES ARE JUST A “TWADE” AWAY!

  20. [re=572033]the deliverator[/re]: Yeah, that’s my dad, too. All thoughts are filtered through Rush Limbaugh. When Rush finally dies, I think my dad will wither away as well.

  21. What kind of software are they using? Even Ebay ask you several times to confirm your bid.

    They have a phrase for this on Wall Street: Billion Dollar Bonuses all around!

  22. [re=572021]Extemporanus[/re]: But then you know what’d happen…Justin Bieber would trigger a massive stock tweetoff and everyone in Greece would riot at his concerts. Your idea, while admirable, is severely flawed.

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