Software glitches in stock market trading platforms have caused a number of problems as the practice of high-frequency trading has increased in recent years, and the NYSE and US regulators are working on at least one solution to prevent widespread market damage. As Reuters reports, the New York Stock Exchange and the government are working together to create a "kill switch" framework that could be used to halt trading before a glitch is able to disrupt markets. Earlier this year, a glitch in Knight Capital Group's trading system caused the stock prices of companies like Citigroup, Bankof America, and American Airlines to swing wildly, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Other high-profile glitches, like a NASDAQ glitch that interfered with Facebook's IPO, have caused concern for investors, traders, and regulators.
The NYSE and regulators are "hopeful" to have a report by the first quarter of next year, according to NYSE Executive Vice President Joe Mecane, who commented on the effort today before a US Senate Banking Panel, Reuters says. But a kill switch is really a last-resort measure, and until systemic issues in US trading markets are fixed, the country will continue to be an example for the rest of the world of what not to do.