The Machines Took Over, But Keep Saving For Retirement

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Global markets, before the 9 a.m. bell, are still falling Friday, even though the humans seem to be, for the moment, back in control. Yesterday, between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., “I think the machines just took over,” explained one trader to the Associated Press. The New York Times weighs in with this bit of comfort, noting that $40 dollar stocks were inexplicably trading at a penny yesterday, potentially costing investors billions. “There was no pricing mechanism,” said one trader. “There was nothing. No one knew what anything was worth. You didn’t know where to buy a stock or sell a stock.”As a Wall Street Journal blogger put it Thursday, “Today’s market was neither orderly nor efficient nor trustworthy. It was just a bunch of computers making ugly, messy love with each other. And your money hung in the balance.” If only we could teach these machines to play with themselves. “Number of players, zero” anyone?