Thursday, May 6, 2010

Don't look now but something just laid an egg

2:45 PM: Tell me that this is just a typo: Dow down 413 point.

My day has not been the very good, I hope you are doing better. For the second time in as many weeks I've had to throw away hours worth of work after I discovered that the company I was profiling was failing to deliver a workable product. It happens, I suppose. But it is doubly frustrating when you know that a lot of publishers are depending on these third party developers to help them out in their mobile media projects and are instead not getting very good results.
Last week one of these companies responded to a story I wrote and wanted to set the record straight. I responded that I would happy to talk to them, but alas they never called. No wonder, their apps are just plain bad. Users write one star reviews of the apps, but the company continues to spit them out week after week.
2:50 PM: a few minutes later and the Dow is down 789 points. Make it stop.

2:52 PM: Headline on New York Times website: Dow Plummets 900 Points on Concerns Over Greece but their ticker says down 580, it can't keep up. Click through to story and headline reads down 700. Refresh and it says down 500.

I promise to keep refreshing until it says Dow closes mixed.

The market, of course, was in free fall over concerns that the debt crisis in Greece would spill over into the rest of Europe, particularly in Spain, Portugal and Britain. This would have the same sort of domino effect that occurred when the Austrian bank Credit Anstalt went bankrupt after failing to secure loans to the government of Austria that would have propped it up. The loans were not made due to the internal politics of countries like France. Today, there are those in Europe opposing a bailout for Greece, using the same arguments.

3:05 PM: down only 324 points. Those that jumped off the ledge are starting to have regrets.

3:20 PM: I've gone back into this story to correct some of the typos that were caused by frantic typing.
4:00 PM: The markets are closed and the final body count is in -- down 347.80. The Times has their story up and quotes Peter Cardillo of Avalon Partners as saying "“what really happened here, gold was going through the roof and the euro went down to 1.25. There was a lot of panic selling that came in and the market fell apart.”

Jake Dollarhide, chief executive of Longbow Asset Management, said it best, though: “This is a terrible, terrible day.” No kidding.

4:40 PM: The Guardian is reporting that it "looks like the panic may have been triggered by one or more rogue trades." I've not heard that elsewhere yet, but Britain is very jittery right now as the country went to the polls today and there are fears of a hung parliament (the Tories are expected by many to win tonight).