by Alex Vikoulov
"Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That's the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system." -Martin Luther King, Jr.
On May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones index opened lower than the previous day, falling slowly over the next few hours in response to the debt crisis in Greece. But at 2.42pm, the index started to fall rapidly. In less than five minutes, more than 600 points were wiped off the market. At its lowest point, the index was nearly 1,000 points below the previous day’s average, a difference of almost 10% of its total value, and the biggest single-day fall in the market’s history. By 3.07pm, in just 25 minutes, it recovered almost all of those 600 points, in the largest and fastest swing ever, what professional market participants would call a “black swan” event. I was trading on that roller coaster 'Flash Crash' historical day and saw it with my eyes -- the rapid decline and just as rapid rebound of the markets and my own portfolio. I remember watching commentator Jim Cramer on CNBC hysterically screaming from the bottom of his lungs: "This is unreal! This is not right! The system obviously broke down! The machines broke down!" What a wild ride that was! I'll tell you!