The worst trade in history
Japanese trader places mistaken order, ends up costing brokerage hundreds of millions of dollars
A Japanese trader was supposed to sell one share of job recruiting company J-Com Co. for 610,000 yen back in 2005. But he accidentally sold 610,000 shares of the company for 1 yen. D'oh!
If you're having a bad trading day, at least take comfort in the fact that you've never done something like that.
The trader's firm, Mizuho Securities, tried to cancel the mistake, but that never happened due to a technical glitch at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Mizuho was out hundreds of millions of dollars.
Last week, a Japanese court ordered the stock exchange to pay $121 million to Mizuho for the screwup. The exchange bore 70% of the blame, the court said.
If the Tokyo Stock Exchange doesn't get the decision reversed on appeal, it may have to delay its initial public offering. The exchange was profitable in the past, but suffered a loss in its last fiscal year.
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Bill Stiritz has experienced an estimated $145 million in paper losses on his investment in the company.
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