Who Really Caused The Flash Crash of 2013…Twitter? AP? Hackers?

A funny thing happened while I was walking the floor of the NYSE yesterday with CNBC talking about Stocktwits and Twitter and the markets (for an hour long episode on Twitter to air in June). We had a flash crash. Look closely:

flash-crash-2013-1 copy

I don’t quite care who is to blame yet.

Josh has a good post on the event.

What was interesting for me is how my phone and email were lit up with Bloomberg, Reuters, ABC News etc…looking for my take. Not one trader, investor, partner called me.

It’s obvious to me that the wrong people are too close to the machines at the moment…journalists. They are addicted to Twitter and not the world of real stories around them.

On Stocktwits, the stream just moved along, we had $AAPL earnings on our mind.

I don’t like the idea of hackers and market manipulation, but if this is what it takes to get the algo’s away from the machines with their bullshit bids and false sense of liquidity, all the better. We need to punish these type of hackers with as much speed and breadth as we can.

Warren Buffett was at a Dairy Queen and could care less about a three minute market crash because it did not mean squat to him.

If it meant something to you in the investing business, you are too close to the machines as well.

I mentioned to Carl Quintanella (CNBC) during my interview that we are in a new era of the Social $VIX, a Volatility Index that will behave much differently than in the past. Facebook, Twitter, Stocktwits and other networks have us all connected, all the time. These ‘hacked news’ problems used to only happen inside the walls of the banks and Bloomberg and by the time you heard of the problem, the market was closed. Maybe the blip would be mentioned casually.

As I like to say now, the news that affects the market is in everyone’s hands immediately with Twitter – so learn to live with this. I personally am standing further away from the pipe as ever, dipping in to the flow but not trading from it. I am constantly curating my streams for the people that provide the best context and most reliably deliver the best headlines. If you are ignoring it and day trading, you are really at a disadvantage going forward.


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