World stock markets were reeling over the Dow’s bungee jump yesterday. Blame it on the Greeks, or the “fat finger problem?” Glen Ridge economics-poet-blogger, David Lefkowits, whose daily financial commentary Limericks Economiques has captured the attention of the Wall Street Journal, summarizes the day’s disaster in a limerick.

Diagnosing the Dow’s Dizzy Drop

While coaxing the PIGS from the trough,

Some bankers developed a cough,

Which an I.T. snafu

Turned into swine flu,

And a feverish market sold off.

(Acronym alert: PIGS = Portugal, Italy/Ireland, GREECE and Spain)
Here are some other theories on yesterday’s economic drama. Entertain us with a limerick of your own on whatever topic you choose — the stock market, taxes, budget cuts, sprintime, or even mom.

3 replies on “How The Dow Dropped”

  1. The “fat finger” theory has pretty much been discounted by now. Program traders have position limit parameters within which they need to operate. A number of steps would need to be taken to enter a trade significantly in excess of a trader’s credit limit and the system would need to be overridden manually by a senior manager. Also there are a series of prompts such as ” are you sure you want to do this.” Really, a trader can’t just vaporize hundreds of billions in market value by spilling coffee on his/her keyboard. More likely a function of massive volume of sell orders overwhelmed electronic order matching systems at a number of exchanges away from NYSE where more flow has increasingly been directed. Seems like some old fashioned human intervention could have helped.

  2. A pseudo haiku:
    Far too much money,
    chasing excessive returns.
    Convulsive movements.

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