Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Turn The Machines Back On

We apologize for slightly breaking your economy.

The New York Stock Exchange shut down its main market because of a computer malfunction, forcing traders to steer orders elsewhere in the biggest disruption to an American equity venue in almost two years. 
The suspension, announced to securities firms through notices on the NYSE website around 11:32 a.m., dropped the largest U.S. share platform out of the network of trading platforms that make up the American equity market. That network kept running, however, as other exchanges such as the Nasdaq Stock Market and Bats Global Markets Inc. picked up the runoff.

It's good that the NASDAQ basically acted as a giant backup stock exchange for a while while the NYSE gets their crap sorted out, but increasingly in the world of high-speed, high-volume computerized trading, glitches like this will only keep getting more damaging to the economy.

“I don’t think it’s a hacking incident here or anything like that,” Joe Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Chatham, New Jersey-based Themis Trading LLC, said by phone. “Based on what I’ve seen in the past, these type of things are usually some sort of issues related to an upgrade, maybe to handle the excessive traffic that’s constantly coming in with high-speed trading.” 
The stock exchange operator said in a Twitter message the issue is internal and not a “cyber breach.” The Securities and Exchange Commission is closely monitoring the situation, according to an e-mailed statement from Chair Mary Jo White.

You don't suppose it has anything to do with China melting down amidst the Greek debt crisis, right?


Martin Pollard said...

I'm thinking Skynet, myself.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

I say that the fundamental purpose of the financial system is to provide stability and liquidity so that the real economy can function with the minimum achievable degree of friction. In so far as the banksters fulfill this role, they have earned their billions and they are welcome to them.

When they come to rely on instability to skim extra cream off the top, as exemplified by High Frequency Trading, they have metamorphosed into parasites that ought to be destroyed for the good of the society upon which they feed.

As a general proposition, if your salary depends on a trade being executed NOW as opposed to - say - three hours from now then you are probably up to no good. Scientists investigating the nature of the world need split second precision. Engineers building bridges and skyscrapers need high precision tolerances. Financiers need an efficient allocation of risk and a sustainable return on productive investments; they don't need dedicated fiber optic cables under the polar ice cap to beat the competition by sixty milliseconds.

And it is criminally insane that this kind of high frequency nonsense is allowed to endanger the real economy.

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