What the Hell Just Happened to the New York Stock Exchange?
Do you believe that the New York Stock Exchange shut down because of a “technical glitch” on Wednesday? At 11:32 AM on Wednesday morning, trading on the New York Stock Exchange was halted due to “internal technical issues”, and it did not resume until 3:10 PM. Officials insist that there is no evidence that a cyberattack caused the technical problems even though hactivists had hinted that something may happen the night before. Adding to the suspicion is the fact that United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal also experienced very serious “technical glitches” on Wednesday. Others found it very curious that trading on the NYSE was halted just after Chinese stocks had absolutely plummeted the night before. In fact, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index experienced the largest one day decline that we have witnessed since November 2008. So is there more going on here than meets the eye?
Overall, the Dow was down 261 points on Wednesday, and the Dow and the S&P 500 both closed below their 200 day moving averages. Iron ore had its biggest daily price drop ever, and the price of oil continued to decline. But it was the stunning shut down of the New York Stock Exchange that made headlines all over the world…
The New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal have all fallen victim to a series of massive technical glitches within hours of each other.
NYSE halted all trading for ‘technical reasons’ at 11:32am and only reopened at 3:10pm – but says the problem is an internal one and not the result of a cyberattack.
It comes as tens of thousands of United Airlines passengers were stranded at U.S. airports on Wednesday morning after all of the carrier’s flights were grounded nationwide due to a computer system glitch.
The Wall Street Journal was also left unable to publish after its systems came under attack and has been forced to switch to an alternative site design.
In response to the shut down, the following photo began circulating on Twitter…
But was it really just a “technical glitch”?
Of course they probably would never admit it publicly if it was a cyberattack. We live at a time when the authorities are much more concerned with keeping everyone calm than they are about telling us the truth. So in the end all we can really do is speculate about what really happened.
But what we do know is that the stock market crash in China got even worse the night before this shutdown. The Shanghai Composite Index and the Hang Seng Index both declined by almost six percent overnight. Overall, the Shanghai Composite Index is now down by more than 30 percent in less than a month, and the Chinese version of the NASDAQ is down by more than 40 percent…
In just three weeks, stocks listed on mainland China’s most prominent exchange have fallen by more than 30% from their seven-year highs. The even more speculative ChiNext Index has lost 42% of its value over the 21 days.
Government regulators have now banned, for six months, Chinese executives from selling stock in their own companies. This is only one of a number moves made by panicked officials.
At this point, trading for approximately 45 percent of all stocks on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges has been suspended. So as a result the selling has bled over to the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong, and this has caused tremendous chaos…
Hong Kong’s benchmark stock gauge plunged the most since the global financial crisis as an equity rout in mainland China rippled across Asia.
The Hang Seng Index fell 5.8 percent to 23,516.56 at the close today, the biggest drop since November 2008, after slumping as much as 8.6 percent.
Even though the Chinese have been trying all sorts of crazy things to stop the crash, nothing has worked. Instead, the selling restrictions have only seemed to fuel the panic even more…
“Investors are disappointed and afraid that the Chinese policy makers lost control of the market,” said Mari Oshidari, a Hong Kong-based strategist at Okasan Securities Group Inc. “With no end in sight to the plunge, sentiment has turned cold. With liquidity drying up in the mainland, the Hong Kong market is being sold instead –- the only thing it can do is just quietly take the storm.”
Meanwhile, things over in Europe have become more ominous as well. As I wrote about yesterday, EU officials have declared this week to be “the final deadline” for making a deal with Greece. On Wednesday, Greece applied for a new three year emergency loan, and European officials have said that they will consider it…
A race to save Greece from bankruptcy and keep it in the euro gathered pace on Wednesday when Athens formally applied for a three-year loan and European authorities launched an accelerated review of the request.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called in a speech to the European Parliament for a fair deal, acknowledging Greece’s historic responsibility for its plight, after EU leaders gave him five days to come up with convincing reforms.
The government submitted a request to the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund to lend an unspecified amount “to meet Greece’s debt obligations and to ensure stability of the financial system”. It promised to begin implementing tax and pension measures sought by creditors as early as Monday.
But there is still a tremendous amount of skepticism about whether a deal can be reached. The Greeks want debt relief, but the Germans have completely ruled out any sort of a debt haircut. Most of the rest of the EU nations are siding with the Germans, and unless the Greek government caves in at the last moment it appears that a “Grexit” is quite likely.
For most people, the events of 2008 have long since faded from their memories. After years of soaring stock prices, many in the financial world have become extremely comfortable. But as we are seeing in China, what goes up must eventually come down.
And the shut down of the New York Stock Exchange today should be a huge wake up call for all of us. We have become extraordinarily dependent on computers and technology, and this makes us exceedingly vulnerable. Someday, we might just experience a cyberattack that causes a tremendous amount of permanent damage that cannot be undone.
What will we do then?
Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and events are beginning to accelerate as we enter the second half of 2015.
So what comes next? Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…