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Nasdaq blames software for Facebook trading screw up

John Moe May 21, 2012

Okay, I’ve been off work for the past week but I understand there was something about a social network company going public? Friendbook? Facester? MyFace? Something like that?

Luckily, there’s plenty going on about the Facebook launch to keep it in the news. Nasdaqis piecing together the debris from the ratherdisastrous launch of the stock. In a tradition dating back to the first computer, Nasdaq is blaming the computer, specifically software architecture.

From Bloomberg:

Computer systems used to establish the opening price were overwhelmed by order cancellations and updates during the “biggest IPO cross in the history of mankind,” Nasdaq Chief Executive Officer Robert Greifeld, 54, said yesterday in a conference call with reporters. Nasdaq’s systems fell into a “loop” that prevented the second-largest U.S. stock venue operator from opening the shares on schedule following the $16 billion deal.

Nasdaq plans to refund money to some traders, probably paying out $13 million. Ouch.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s stock is down this morning to below Friday’s opening price, which means that Facebook and probably the Internet is a big dumb fad that’s going away. NOTE: that last sentence doesn’t apply if the stock is back up by the time you read this item.

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