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posted: 5/4/2013 5:00 AM

Wall Street traders should check facts first

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I have always considered myself to be a reasonably intelligent person, with enough street smarts that I have been able to create a pretty good life for my family. But I just don't understand. At 1:07 p.m. on April 23, there was a fake tweet on the AP's Twitter account that said there had been explosions at the White House and President Obama had been injured. According to the AP report printed the next day in the Daily Herald Business section, the Dow immediately plunged about 143 points.

So here's what I just don't understand. Who were the brilliant traders on Wall Street and in financial offices nationwide who cost investors more than $130 billion in the value of their investments? I didn't make that number up -- $130 billion is what Reuters said was wiped out on the S&P 500.

I know just a little about the role of computers and algorithmic trading on Wall Street. But who controls the computers? Who programs them? And what role did the "live" traders play in all of this?

The footage may or may not exist, but I would love to see if those traders were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, bumping into each other, stumbling over themselves and babbling the sky is falling, the sky is falling. If they were, remember folks, these are the people who help shape the investments you and I own. And although my visual description may be an exaggeration, without taking even one moment to check out the facts, some did indeed panic!

The S&P closed up 16.28 for the day, but check your investments and see exactly how much of your losses were made up. I'm going to guess it may take a few more "up" days to recover fully.

David Barth


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