At 2:45 this afternoon, buyers seemed to disappear from the stock market.
One reason for this may have been that several high-frequency-trading firms stopped trading because of the extreme volatility. As they did, the buying (and selling) these firms would have done disappeared.
So how’s that for irony?
Everyone is rushing to blame HFT and other non-human problems for the crash… when, at least in part, it may have been the cessation of HFT that exacerbated the plunge.
Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em…
(For the record, we think the crash was mostly a natural reaction to a market that considerably overshot the fundamentals. But it’s obviously worth looking at the impact of HFT, et al…)