You’ve got to give Citigroup this much: It’s trying. Given its baleful history with fat fingers and fat finger-adjacencies, it’s trying to make it harder for its people to inadvertently increase the order of magnitude of their trades and such. Why, just look at all of the warnings its most recent porky pointer had to click through to produce its latest seven-figure fuck up.
A Citigroup Inc. trader who sent European stock indexes into free fall last month was working from home and went through several alerts before his order went live….
Unfortunately for the unfortunate member of Citi’s Delta One trading team, the other mechanical means employed by the bank to prevent such things just, uh, didn’t work.
Generally, Citigroup’s systems automatically break up such large trades and place them as smaller bets. While some of those smaller mistaken trades were stopped by the firm’s internal algorithms following the blunder, others were still allowed to go through. Citigroup is investigating why its algorithms were configured in such a way that the mistaken trades were permitted by the firm’s systems, one of the people said.
Citi says the screw-up had nothing to do with its more-generous-than-others’ work-from-home policy, and—setting aside the aforementioned investigation into the bank’s always top-notch systems—what with all of the warnings blown through, that leaves only one place to point a very disappointed, $50 million lighter finger.
The staffer has since been placed on leave as Citigroup reviews the incident, the people said. The firm has so far determined it was human error that resulted in the trade, and not the fact that the staffer was working from home, one of the people said.
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