BATS Owns It

If you're looking for contrition from BATS Global Markets following its revelation that it's been screwing up hundreds of thousands of trades and violating rules for about four years, you'll be disappointed. The latest exchange forced to publicly admit incompetence says it's going to try to fix things, but that customers (and, presumably, the SEC) occasional snafu.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

If you're looking for contrition from BATS Global Markets following its revelation that it's been screwing up hundreds of thousands of trades and violating rules for about four years, you'll be disappointed. The latest exchange forced to publicly admit incompetence says it's going to try to fix things, but that customers (and, presumably, the SEC) are just going to have to get used to the occasional snafu.

"This is part of the business of being an exchange in an electronic environment," chief executive Joe Ratterman said in an interview at the company's Lenexa, Kan., headquarters. "You have to accept that you are going to find issues if you are diligent in looking for them."

"Handling orders right is a challenging problem to solve," Mr. Ratterman said.

All of this did not go over well at all with the guy manning The News Hub over at wsj.com, who points out that "handling orders right" is exactly the business that BATS is in. But he then goes off the rails a bit and suggests that we just junk all of this electronic trading nonsense and return to the world of open outcry.

Unfortunately for BATS, the SEC, while thrilled with the exchange's ratting on itself, is perhaps less thrilled with its somewhat shoulder-shruggy response to the whole thing, and is mulling some sort of action against it. And the agency isn't likely to be swayed by this argument:

Officials at BATS and other exchanges have said that the price-sliding orders were developed to comply with regulations. BATS Chief Executive Joe Ratterman said in an interview Thursday morning that its technology problems are "indicative of complexity in the markets," and that regulators should examine how the complexity leads to errors.

Bats CEO says trade problems are part of the business [WSJ via Financial News]
Now Up to BATS: Damage Control [WSJ]
Video - BATS CEO: Trade Problems 'Part of the Business' [WSJ]
SEC Concerned About Other Exchanges [WSJ]
Bats Blaming Market Rules as Calls of Overhaul Grow [Bloomberg]

Related

BATS: We've Sort of Been Allowing Illegal Trades On-and-Off For, Oh, Four Years, Give Or Take

As we have seen, the largest and second-largest U.S. stock exchanges have been having some trouble with little things like IPOs and processing and reporting trades. Now, it's the third's turn:

BATS Gets It Right This Time

Never underestimate the power of tenacity and bizarre timing when pricing a new stock.

BATS Global Markets Feels Emotionally Ready To Try For That IPO Again

Fingers crossed an amateur hour screw up on the big day doesn't derail things...again.

(Getty Images)

SEC Says Funhouse Accounting OK Until It Figures Out Its Own New Rules

You can probably just forget about them until at least Jan. 20, 2021.