So we can’t blame this guy, the St. Petersburg Times’ Robert Trigaux, for struggling to explain “high frequency trading” given just the length of a headline.
But we couldn’t help but laugh when a search brought us to this headline blooper, “Put a headline here:”
We can only guess what his article was about, because the link to Trigaux’s story has since been taken down, but from the few clips we see above, we imagine that it would have said something about the SEC’s recently released report about the flash crash, or about how the HFT phenomenon has finally entered mainstream consciousness and scared away small investors and day traders.
And then, we imagine, when it came time to figure what to title his opinion piece (he writes a tri-weekly business column), the writer thought about it, came up blank, and then he simply left it for the editors to do.
Then they either missed the request, or they thought “Put a headline here please,” was the intended headline, in which case the editors, if they read Trigaux’s piece, were actually making quite a poignant statement about the presentation of HFT to the world and what’s hiding underneath. A big fat question mark on top of a lot of information.
In any case, the blooper makes a funny and timely point. People in the industry are having trouble explaining HFT to the mainstream and even to the SEC, which still hasn’t really figured out how to regulate it.
Now we can laugh about it.