The first explanation for last week’s 15-minute collapse of the entire global economy was that some Citigroup trader pressed “b” instead of “m.” That was too comical to be true. Then people assumed it was some big Wall Street hedge fund screwing around with high-frequency trading. That was too predictably evil to be true. Now people are looking at some idiot firm in Kansas losing control of its robots: “A big mystery seller of futures contracts during the market meltdown last week was not a hedge fund or a high-frequency trader as many have suspected, but money manager Waddell & Reed Financial Inc, according to a document obtained by Reuters.”
Waddell on May 6 sold a large order of e-mini contracts during a 20-minute span in which U.S. equities markets plunged, briefly wiping out nearly $1 trillion in market capital, the internal document from Chicago Mercantile Exchange parent CME Group Inc said.
The e-minis are one of the most liquid futures contracts in the world, providing holders exposure to the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The contracts can act as a directional indicator for the underlying stock index.
Regulators and exchange officials quickly focused on Waddell’s sale of 75,000 e-mini contracts, which the document said “superficially appeared to be anomalous activity.
If any of you can thoroughly explain this using actual human words in the comments, then… we will just ban you because you’re probably a douche. “The thing no one understands about e-minis–” BLAH BLAH SHUT UP.
Remember when people used to just like… invest money in companies with good shit? You know, “Oh what’s this new gizmo you’ve got, a microwave? It heats WHAT up? EVERYTHING? Not metal, okay… well hot damn this is great, here’s $20k, I’ll pick up my $10 million in a few months, cool?” Although they probably didn’t say “cool” back then.