Today's Flash Crash: 75% Loss On A $10 Billion Market Cap Company In One Second

Tyler Durden's picture

While the European economy is imploding, the Chinese are struggling to hide 10% of their GDP in bad debt, and the US is scrambling to come up with a compromise to the debt ceiling, which is so far not even close with only 10 days left until the July 22 deadline (no, it's not August 2), one can be forgiven to forget that the US stock market continues to be nothing short of a crime scene. We are happy to remind you. Nanex has just spotted today's flash crash du jour, which promptly took $10 billion Brown Forman from $70 to $16.64, a 75%, or $7.5 billion, loss, in about one second. No, not a fat finger: an algorithm, which hit every bid on the way down for precisely 8,409 shares. We fully expect the pustular math Ph.D. (most likely out of Getco) to be promptly relieved of any responsibility for coming up with a massively wrong algorithm, as the NYSE shortly cancels all the bad trades. If nobody else is punished for their mistakes, why should the parasites who churn our stocks be treated any different?

BF.A - Brown Forman

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johngaltfla's picture

It's a "transitory" flash crash. Sheesh. As long as the SPY doesn't get hit the power mad morons do not care...until they do.

bankrupt JPM buy silver's picture

I need LULU to have a flash crash to $0.

TruthInSunshine's picture


It can't be!


China is going to save the euro and Eurozone!



eurusdog's picture

That has got to be what's lifting the eurusd today!

snowball777's picture

C' have to admit that the landmines make the 100 yard dash that much more exciting.

Long-John-Silver's picture

Ayatollah Khomeini used children to clear land mines by running them through them during the Iran-Iraq war. Saddam Hussein started using nerve gas on those children to prevent it.

LFMayor's picture

I read that they didn't run.  They wrapped themselves in blankets and rolled in front of the troops and vehicles.   

the blankets made for a more complete burial.

That was an awesome 10 year war, old Nicholo M. wept tears of manly pride i bet.

snowball777's picture

Poison gas you say? Sounds expensive. Wonder who they bought it from...

Madcow's picture



oogs66's picture

anyone who was lucky enough to buy them from the algo should be allowed to keep them

dwdollar's picture

Enforcing trades would be death to HFT.  The death of HFT would elimate 70% of trading volume.  That would allow markets to fall.

Ura Bonehead's picture

And this is a problem becaaaaaaause.......????

slaughterer's picture

I agree.  The lucky buyers at the bottom should be able to keep their purchases.  It would increase market participation if you knew you could hold on to a few "flash crash" bargains. 

slaughterer's picture

Does anyone know of any premonitory signs of a "flash crash"?  "Flash crash imminent" detection software?   If traders could keep their profits, this would be a big industry.  

Zero Govt's picture

probably running on Microshite ...surprised it doesn't crash every fuking day!!!

dwdollar's picture

while True: buy()

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

But....but I thought this was fixed.

Cdad's picture

Confidence inspiring.  Mary Schapiro hard at work.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The biggest cognitive dissonance for average Joe and Jane is accepting that their leaders are not only not trying to 'fix' the problems, but are trying to make money for themselves and their friends/contributors/controllers off of these problems.

The average Joe simply can not conceive of the evil they face because it is so beyond what they imagine is going on. It is one thing to say you know evil and another entirely to come face to face with that very same evil.

Cdad's picture

For almost three years now, I have been coming face to face with evil.  All one need do is turn on the BlowHorn [CNBC] and observe how the media has turned away from its duty to talk about said evil [the fourth estate], as equities melt up on no volume...all the while, the BlowHorn trumpeting a new golden age of wealth creation through money printing.  Tyler's words today are very applicable..."the US stock market continues to be nothing short of a crime scene."  And EVERYONE can see it.

And pair with this a Federal Government running wild, threatening Armageddon if they don't get more of our money to choose winners and losers with as freedom and liberty are perpetually boot stomped into the ground with the help of crony corporations.

And on and on...and BTW...I am Average Joe!  And it isn't just me now peering behind the curtain to see the wizard.

Rome is ablaze, and I rather doubt I am one of a select group that can see and smell the smoke.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


While many people smell smoke they simply do not wish to look. Sure they understand that 'something' is wrong. But as long as they can feed their denial most will. As demoralizing as that is there is no getting around this fact.

Take some time to study what happened in Germany, Italy and Japan in the run up to war. Contrary to what people wish to believe, the insanity was eventually greeted with open arms once things got so bad that people decided to sleep with the devil that promised them more than they had.

This is why I hammer away at looking within. All the Big Lies start within us. The sociopaths don't lie to us asmuch as they tell us what we want to hear. Or at least enough of us to marginalize the rest of us.

Cdad's picture

I understand and respect you analysis, brother Cog.  However, the thing you suggest, namely that folk refuse to look at the evil, is not born out by key facts.  

Is it not true that equity outflows continue at pace, including the liquidation of retirement assets?  Is it not the case that BlowHorn viewership continues to fall through the ratings floor, along with newspaper subscriptions, with these outflows flowing in to alternative media?  Is it not the case that Average Joes everywhere are being laid off, and their participation in the labor market now stands at generational lows?  Isn't it true that silver continues to be hoarded by the masses, and that the demand for this commodity is driven by investment and not industrial demand?  Gold?  Isn't it the case that during the last election cycle, folks sent Tea Party candidates to Congress to stop the spending?  

My suggestion is not that you are wrong in a wholesale sense, but rather that the worm has turned, as far back as three years ago, and simply playing the card that suggests the general public at large is ill informed...does not align itself with the above facts.

I do not see the open arms of which you speak, although I understand the argument you are suggesting.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


You are talking about the market. I am talking about average Joe. Average Joe knows little to nothing about CNBC or equity outflows. I'm not saying people are totally ignorant and unaware. I am saying they are trying to close their eyes and walk past the car wreck.

Some are taking loans on their 401(k)'s and I suspect some of the outflows has to do with people who are fired/laid off taking a distribution rather than rolling it over and reinvesting. Same with IRA distributions. Several of my clients have done precisely that just to live.

The average Joe pays little attention to the business news or just gives it a passing glance. Go have lunch in a restaurant in Middle America and do an informal survey of the people sitting around you. They might be worried about the economy, but they push it aside and think about bills and kids and TV. And they don't think about the stock market. It goes in one ear and out the other.

They look at their statements once a quarter and move on. When that statement is down 20%, then they pay attention. But even then they feel helpless and so they don't do much more than worry for awhile, then think about other stuff. This is apathy born of helplessness.

RockyRacoon's picture

Anecdotally I can tell the story of a very good friend who fits your description.  He is a medical research doc, with a 401k.   He took a huge hit just like everyone else did.  Even over numerous lunches during which I told him to expect the same scenario again, he has done nothing.  His belief that "it will come back" and that TPTB are doing all they can do make his fantasy come true causes him to lock up intellectually.   He is a very smart, very well paid, and personable fellow (which puts him in the higher percentile of the population), and if he doesn't get it, imagine the legions who are even more clueless.

pan-the-ist's picture

Once fascism really takes hold, I wonder how long of a run the US will make.  We're not Germany, surrounded on all sides by potential enemys.  We're about to live in interesting times.

DCFusor's picture

CD, that's the best thing I've read all day, and all too true.  Too bad most won't hear it, even here, and look inside for where the real problems begin.  I found CS Lewis' "That Hideous Strength" a good read on how people who aren't basically bad get led into doing very bad things all too easily.  The first time I tried reading it, I couldn't because I was one of the people it was talking about...I've since grown up a little.

RockyRacoon's picture

The Lewis triology is a hard read.   At least it was for me.   Being told that God allows misery and pain is like medical research on dogs.   They experience agonizing pain but it's for the better good.   Buncha crap.

pan-the-ist's picture

You should have taken the blue pill.  I would disagree, many people are catching glimpses, but they don't see it, not like we see it.  It makes me wonder how long the smoke and mirrors have been in place, how deep the rabbit hole really is.  Perhaps the blue pill IS the better play.

asteroids's picture

Right. I thought after a 10% fall all trading was automaticaly halted for an hour. Yeah sure!

lizzy36's picture

Hard to believe that retail left the market in May 2010 and hasn't been heard from since.

When volume drops another 50% from here, and the only players left are churning HFT's, will fired (because of no volume) wall street employees start demanding change in market structure?

johngaltfla's picture

Remember 70%+ of all stock transactions are off the major markets. What you see on Bubblevision is far less than 1/3 of what actually is happening in the shadow stock market and dark pools.

etrader's picture

The usual house line is still:

Dow 13K retail will come rushing..... 

SheepDog-One's picture

Im not sure if Etrade accepts food stamps in trading accounts.

lizzy36's picture

Give it 6 months and they just might ;)

etrader's picture

 Food stamps would be classed as Tier 1 collateral with the ECB....

"Back to  M·A·C" empties  Tier 2.:->

SheepDog-One's picture

Im investing in *cntrl alt del* buttons, they must be wearing them out like crazy on Wall St these days. 

Byte Me's picture

Partially reversable meltdown -- no problems to see here -- plenty of liquidity..

bill1102inf's picture

So.. the algo decided to SELL TO buyers at an ever lower price?  Why bother?

bill1102inf's picture

So.. the algo decided to SELL TO buyers at an ever lower price?  Why bother?

SheepDog-One's picture

Glitch in the matrix. Nothing to see here people, move along, resume buying 100 P/E retail bubble paper....

Lmo Mutton's picture

You need an algo to microsecond like forward the paper cert in order to beat the other algos.

tim73's picture

It is that damn Skynet doing this on purpose, getting more funds to drone development.

Zeff's picture

Bam! SO who made money on that?

tim73's picture

Some grandma in Cunningham, Kansas just shouted "bingo".

Mesquite's picture

Confidence inspiring, yeah..

bozzy's picture

Jeezus H Christ - it's getting tricky to know whether anyone has actually traded anything - now you have to wait for the revised scoresheet