CEO of Nasdaq: Drop Was Not a ‘Terminator’ Situation

By Kate McCarthy

May 7, 2010 8:34am

It was not “The Matrix” or “The Twilight Zone” and the machines did not take over the stock market yesterday the CEO of Nasdaq told me.

“It was not really a ‘Terminator’ situation,” Bob Greifeld said. “When you look at it, the people who were assigned the responsibility of providing liquidity into the market, especially in times of stress, did not do that.”

He compared the situation to walking up to a teller and all of a sudden the teller shuts the booth in front of you.

The head of Nasdaq said no new protections are needed to slow down the computers, but he does want to “step back” and look at the circuit breakers to see if they can be improved.

“This was a different type of situation that I think the circuit breakers were meant to address,” he said.

Greifeld will cancel some of yesterday trades he deemed erroneous. He said some stocks, like Accenture’s that fell from $42.17 to a penny, did not belong on the tape.

As for the possibility of a trading error, he said in his market the system worked and he didn’t see any unusual activity, “per say.”

So what caused the drastic plunge?  Greifled said it was the financial unrest in Greece, fear in the markets, heightened activity in the futures market that spilled over and then “the main listed market basically stepped away and [did] not answer the electronic phone calls.”

Watch my interview here:

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