Dow drops 1000 points due to bad typing?

In another example for us English teachers on the importance of spelling accuracy, the stock market plunged 1000 points, wiping out untold numbers of dollars for investors here and around the world, apparently because a trader entered a “b” for billion instead of an “m” for million.  Seriously.  That mistake then triggered a chain reaction of automatic sales and general panic.

The market later recovered quite a bit of the loss, but it still closed 347.80 points down.   The Stock Market announced that it would cancel some of the transactions, so no one knows exactly how it will fall out.

You investors need to know this before you check how your stocks did today so that you don’t jump out the window.

See this. Also this.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Kirk

    My bad, guys.

  • Kirk

    My bad, guys.

  • Rev. Alexander Ring

    Talk about “spelling counts”.

  • Rev. Alexander Ring

    Talk about “spelling counts”.

  • WebMonk

    The billion vs million seems to be a speculation that hasn’t been confirmed in any way. The various investigations aren’t complete yet, but things seem to be pointing to automated trade algorithms that cascaded into a super-fast drop.

    There is also some evidence that the super-fast recovery was due to the same thing – automated trading programs which decided things were suddenly a REALLY good deal and so they started buying and pulled the prices back up.

  • WebMonk

    The billion vs million seems to be a speculation that hasn’t been confirmed in any way. The various investigations aren’t complete yet, but things seem to be pointing to automated trade algorithms that cascaded into a super-fast drop.

    There is also some evidence that the super-fast recovery was due to the same thing – automated trading programs which decided things were suddenly a REALLY good deal and so they started buying and pulled the prices back up.

  • S Bauer

    “My bad, guys.”

    Or did you mean, “My mad, guys.”

  • S Bauer

    “My bad, guys.”

    Or did you mean, “My mad, guys.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I saw this blog post earlier, then read a bunch of stories on the topic, and no one besides CNBC is mentioning this potential glitch. So I’m dubious. I mean, that is the home of Jim Cramer. And while I know nothing about the mechanics of trading, I have to ask: really? People type in words like “million”? They don’t enter actual digits?

    Anyhow, yes, this would seem to be some sort of cross between Skynet/Matrix and World War I. That’s my metaphor for understanding it, anyhow.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I saw this blog post earlier, then read a bunch of stories on the topic, and no one besides CNBC is mentioning this potential glitch. So I’m dubious. I mean, that is the home of Jim Cramer. And while I know nothing about the mechanics of trading, I have to ask: really? People type in words like “million”? They don’t enter actual digits?

    Anyhow, yes, this would seem to be some sort of cross between Skynet/Matrix and World War I. That’s my metaphor for understanding it, anyhow.

  • Scots

    “b” and “m” are appropriate letters for what occurred…

  • Scots

    “b” and “m” are appropriate letters for what occurred…

  • DonS

    Regardless of that glitch, or the tumult it may have caused, it seems as if we are in for an additional extended period of market volatility until Europe figures out what they are going to do about Greece, Spain, and Portugal, and those countries are on board with the austerity remedy. And, in the longer term, worldwide debt is going to be a serious drag on economic growth for years to come.

  • DonS

    Regardless of that glitch, or the tumult it may have caused, it seems as if we are in for an additional extended period of market volatility until Europe figures out what they are going to do about Greece, Spain, and Portugal, and those countries are on board with the austerity remedy. And, in the longer term, worldwide debt is going to be a serious drag on economic growth for years to come.

  • Scots

    DonS , dude, you’re so negative. Be positive like our President. He found it encouraging that unemployment rose from 9.7 to 9.9 last month!

  • Scots

    DonS , dude, you’re so negative. Be positive like our President. He found it encouraging that unemployment rose from 9.7 to 9.9 last month!

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    Since the prices recovered, whatever millions in losses there were to those who sold at the bottom of the dip was offset, I’m sure, by the millions made by those who bought.

    Just think of it as a redistribution of wealth.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    Since the prices recovered, whatever millions in losses there were to those who sold at the bottom of the dip was offset, I’m sure, by the millions made by those who bought.

    Just think of it as a redistribution of wealth.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X