Funny trading going on

Turns out that the giant plunge in the DOW today was caused by... someone hitting the wrong key.

Seriously. He put in a trade marked with "b" - billions rather than "m" millions of shares. Fail.

As a good friend of mine put it, that guy needs an OMS (Order Management System).

Citi, the executing broker, also needs a check to the head.... well.. we kind of already knew that. They "did not notice anything usual"... like.. maybe... this:

Still though, and this is the somewhat scary part, though it is a well worn story by this point, the crazy swing is pretty much because of trades then electronically triggered, both on the up and the down. Throw in a lot of leverage and little bit of time lag and a touch of opacity and you have the recipe for a roller coaster where "value" is not a term directly related to current valuations. Lets be honest folks, the value of one of the world's largest companies does not change by 8% when there has been no news at all, of any kind. Except of course for some dimwit missing the letter "m" by an inch.


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