What happened on the Nasdaq anyway?

People walk by the Nasdaq stock market.

Nasdaq halted trading Thursday for about three hours due to a technical glitch. Things were fixed just before the market closed, and the day after no problems were reported.

"I think this is another instance that we see that the way we trade securities now has just become immensely complicated, and how in the last 10-15 years, new and better technology -- along with all these participants finding new ways to get around regulations -- have found ways to make things really complicated to make a little more money," said FT Alphaville's Cardiff Garcia. "The immediate effect of what happened yesterday was something akin to everybody taking a long lunch and then catching up on their work later. But it is troublesome that these kinds of things just seem to keep happening, and there's got to be a way to make these systems more robust."

"I mean, it's going to happen again," said The Guardian's Heidi Moore. The CEO of Nasdaq "gave an interview and he considered himself happy if they could get above 99 percent reliability in doing these. Imagine that -- he's just conceding -- 'you cannot get 100 percent.' And he's right."


And we've got our Weekly Wrap #longreads suggestions.

Heidi Moore recommends:

  • As we talk more and more about the surveillance state, this week The Guardian has questioned not just the scope of the intelligence collected on Americans, but also its accuracy. A great example is mild-mannered author William Vollmann, who sued for his FBI file and found that the leading lights of intelligence once suspected him of being...the Unabomber.
  • A great New York Review of Books analysis of musician Questlove, a "hip-hop evolutionist."
  • The bastardization of the French baguette into something doughier and less crusty is a metaphor for humanity itself: it speaks to national identity, changing tastes in food, and the be-blanding of globalization.

Cardiff Garcia suggests:

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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