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IPFS News Link • Stock Market

SEC Launches (Glitchy) Database To Prevent Another Flash Crash


But as exciting as the markets can be, they're rarely as terrifying as that 35-minute window from 2:32 PM to 3:07 PM on May 6, 2010, when the Dow plunged nearly 1,000 points and then gained most of it back. Now known as the "flash crash," it was the largest single intraday swing in the history of the American markets, and for a heart-palpitating minute a trillion dollars in phony baloney paper "wealth" had been simply wiped out of existence.

But as I've discussed in these pages before, the fine folks at the Securities and Exchange Commission didn't let the market contemplate the significance of that incredible plunge for very long. Downplaying the incident with an explanation that they were "investigating," the SEC's finest returned with their DOJ and FBI pals a scant five years later to throw a scapegoat in jail and sweep the whole affair under the rug. Problem solved, right?

Wrong. Of course. So the noble agents of the SEC got to work adopting a new rule that would require a Consolidated Audit Trail to "efficiently and accurately track all activity throughout the U.S. markets in National Market System (NMS) securities." Specifically, the dream was to build a "supercomputer" that would act—in the memorable words of SEC Commissioner Kara Stein—as the "Hubble Telescope of securities markets."