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Goldman Suspends 4 Senior Tech Specialists After Trading Glitch

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the feature-not-a-bug dept.

The Almighty Buck 140

First time accepted submitter sbjornda writes "A glitch in an internal system led to erroneous trades on some funds whose listings begin with the letters H through L. Goldman Sachs has put four Senior Technology Specialists on administrative leave as a result. From the article: 'The system, called a "trading axis," monitors the Wall Street bank's inventory to determine whether it should be a more aggressive buyer or seller in the market. But a technical error misinterpreted non-binding indications of interest, or IOIs, as firm bids and offers, leading to some trades that were vastly out of line with where market prices were, Reuters reported previously, citing a source familiar with the matter.'"

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Let me get this straight (4, Insightful)

Noxal (816780) | about a year ago | (#44678129)

Some high profile companies/people fucked up and lost money, so the market shut down.

Why didn't it shut down when I lost money in the stock market? Oh right, $1500 isn't enough for me to matter.

I'm sure I'm wrong on this. Someone correct me!

Re:Let me get this straight (5, Informative)

olsmeister (1488789) | about a year ago | (#44678163)

This didn't cause the market to shut down. It may have caused GS to lose some money.

Re:Let me get this straight (4, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#44678301)

In the grand scheme of things, though, it isn't that much money. Their plan to blow up a nursing home [theonion.com] , for instance, won't be affected by the loss.

Re:Let me get this straight (5, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44678187)

Some high profile companies/people fucked up and lost money, so the market shut down.

Why didn't it shut down when I lost money in the stock market? Oh right, $1500 isn't enough for me to matter.

I'm sure I'm wrong on this. Someone correct me!

When your loss can trigger a sell wave, they'll shut the market down to investigate. The market wasn't shut down because GS lost money, but because something was obviously systematically wrong, and they wanted to figure out what it was before allowing more trades. Once they found out what it was, they could have brought everything back up, as it was just a bad algorithm used by a single (large) trader.

it's kind of like if you get hit with a pebble vs hearing a loud rumbling sound and getting pelted with pebbles -- you're more likely to vacate the area and then investigate in the second instance, even if it's the same monkey hitting you with multiple pebbles.

Re:Let me get this straight (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44678525)

And it just happens that it provides a great way for the 1% to remain the 1% while bleeding everyone else dry.

It's a good argument for not allowing any legal fiction to be too big to fail (or jail).

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44679385)

Why was this modded flamebait?

Re:Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679547)

Because Slashdot's moderation system is ineffective.

Re:Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679637)

Why was this modded flamebait?

because the moderation won't correct itself until someone posts this question.

I've been meaning to experiment and see what happens to my comments if I post this in reply to comments that score low but aren't actually modded flamebait....

OT? (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about a year ago | (#44678939)

If enough little guys get together [reuters.com] they can be stopped by the big boys too. (Article is on how some 401(k) members were banned from trading, in their own 401(k), based on newsletter information.)

Re:OT? (3, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#44679729)

"When large numbers of investors trade mutual funds in lockstep, it can force fund managers to buy and sell securities at inopportune times. They may have to find securities to buy in a hurry if the pack invests all at once, and may have to sell quickly to pay off sellers who cash out together."

Right...because when an average investor buys and sell securities at an inopportune time, it's totally cool, but when a fund manager has to do it....well, we can't have that.

Love this world to death: it has so many laws, so many rules, for so many different peoples, and they're all different! No two people abide by the same set of rules. God Himself would be proud.

Re:OT? (0)

fishbonz (246374) | about a year ago | (#44680385)

No body is forcing you to stay in this country

Re:OT? (1)

tragedy (27079) | about a year ago | (#44680545)

What country? The poster you're replying to said "Love this world...", not country.

Re:Let me get this straight (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679323)

Err... NO. If Goldman had a computer glitch that caused erroneous trades, that's their fault and they should lose money for that and the market SHOULD go down, and trigger sell waves or whatever. Nobody else gets do-overs, neither should Goldman.

Re:Let me get this straight (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#44679667)

Err... NO. If Goldman had a computer glitch that caused erroneous trades, that's their fault and they should lose money for that and the market SHOULD go down, and trigger sell waves or whatever. Nobody else gets do-overs, neither should Goldman.

There's no do-over here; the system was halted, it wasn't reversed. All those trades went through, and can't be reverted. But they didn't know what caused it until they investigated, and they aren't going to let people continue trading when something fishy might be going on.

This is the way it's designed* to work

*albeit designed by those who profit from the system -- a circular thing, as anyone who profits under the current system becomes one of the "big guys" and has a vested interest in perpetuating the system that makes them money.

Re:Let me get this straight (0)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44678401)

Wait'll you see what Las Vegas does when I go there and lose a butt-load of money!

They just give it all back and then some for making me wait for so long.

Re:Let me get this straight (5, Informative)

Jayfar (630313) | about a year ago | (#44678411)

Some high profile companies/people fucked up and lost money, so the market shut down.

Er no, this was an unrelated glitch with Goldman 2 days *before* last weeks Nasdaq shutdown.

Some are more equal than others. (5, Insightful)

boorack (1345877) | about a year ago | (#44678603)

Still, most of GS bad trades have been DK'ed. You see, for Goldman Sachs this is 'Heads we win, tails we win' kind of market. They're above the law in every respect. I'm curious what will happen to those tech folks. Will Goldman jail them in retaliation like they did with Aleynikov ? As much as they can call puppet US government to overturn their bad trades, they also can call govt to jail anyone they wish ...

Re:Some are more equal than others. (5, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#44678823)

Oh boy, you're right! Quoting the Wall Street Journal: [wsj.com]

After sifting through each trade, exchanges canceled or adjusted many of the trades.

Their actions stanched what would have been an even more costly mistake. People familiar with the matter last week estimated that Goldman's losses could have reached hundreds of millions of dollars.

...

At NYSE Amex, the exchange will cancel trades in most cases of obvious error, unless the traders on both sides are market makers, or exchange members who facilitate the trading in a given stock's options to ensure fair and orderly markets. Goldman has a market-making unit, but in this case, NYSE Amex classified the orders as coming from a broker-dealer firm.

Re: Some are more equal than others. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679297)

mod parent up, as we all have suspected, when the big boys lose it, then it is now called 'errorneous trade' and the exchange cancels that

Re:Some are more equal than others. (3, Informative)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44679399)

It is thus proven: GS is both too big to fail, and too big to make mistakes.

Re:Some are more equal than others. (2)

quetzyg (1335689) | about a year ago | (#44679911)

Oh boy, you're right! Quoting the Wall Street Journal: [wsj.com]

After sifting through each trade, exchanges canceled or adjusted many of the trades.

Their actions stanched what would have been an even more costly mistake. People familiar with the matter last week estimated that Goldman's losses could have reached hundreds of millions of dollars.

...

At NYSE Amex, the exchange will cancel trades in most cases of obvious error, unless the traders on both sides are market makers, or exchange members who facilitate the trading in a given stock's options to ensure fair and orderly markets. Goldman has a market-making unit, but in this case, NYSE Amex classified the orders as coming from a broker-dealer firm.

Looks like someone at GS read yesterday's news about the The Greatest Keyboard Shortcut Ever [slashdot.org] and did a CTRL+Z on the trades.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44678821)

No. Their was a software glitch that halted trading.

I mean, they're out to get YOU, man.

Re:Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679163)

You're confusing the Nasdaq shut down with the Goldman loss. They were unrelated and occurred on different days.

Tokens. (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44678135)

The disgusting criminals at the top sacrificing a few pawns.

Re:Tokens. (3, Informative)

You're All Wrong (573825) | about a year ago | (#44678177)

Have some respect, that's your government you're insulting! http://geke.us/GS.html

(OT - And incidentally, in case anyone interprets my .sig as being anti-Obama, I first set it while Bush was in power, and just never got round to changing it. For obvious reasons.)

Re:Tokens. (5, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44678261)

Look the CEO's and senior traders who play games of golf and have 2 hour elaborate lunches at the best NYC restaurants create all this value through their handwork.

They do not need to be distracted by the mundane details of actually trading and need to just think of ideas all day instead. Distractions need to be minimized as do work. ... now these IT guys who program the computers that earn them the flash trading? They are greedy COST CENTERS. They have no value! Lazy! Can be replaced by H1B1 visas faster than you can say campaign contribution. Fire them as they do not create value at all.

By playing golf and thinking mysterious powers are telepathically entered into the HFT systems and money is just generated out of thin air. I think these guys need a big bonus for being so smart for this? Don't you?

Are they pawns or are they the devs behind bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678333)

The disgusting criminals at the top sacrificing a few pawns.

Are they pawns or are they the developers responsible for the bug? Given the extremely high salaries devs working for wall street receive, didn't you think that there was a catch. i.e. if there is a bug that causes significant embarrassment or a significant loss of money you get fired.

If so the proceeding would seem fair. You want to name your price then your performance better be damn near flawless.

Re:Are they pawns or are they the devs behind bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679339)

"developers responsible for the bug?"

What about the product designers? The project managers? Or the QA analysts? Or user acceptance testers? Executive Management? It is a team game... don't go blaming ONLY the developers...

That said, it is a very common thing to see this type of blame game play out against the people putting in the hours to actually write this stuff.

Re:Are they pawns or are they the devs behind bug? (1)

pipatron (966506) | about a year ago | (#44679557)

Do you think that the product designers specified that trades beginning with the letter H to L should be buggy?

Re:Are they pawns or are they the devs behind bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44680577)

Do you think that the product designers specified that trades beginning with the letter H to L should be buggy?

Yes, by omission when they say "AIG to GoldMan go first, as does Merryl through Zeta".

Re:Are they pawns or are they the devs behind bug? (4, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44679415)

The disgusting criminals at the top sacrificing a few pawns.

Are they pawns or are they the developers responsible for the bug? Given the extremely high salaries devs working for wall street receive, didn't you think that there was a catch. i.e. if there is a bug that causes significant embarrassment or a significant loss of money you get fired.

If so the proceeding would seem fair. You want to name your price then your performance better be damn near flawless.

If you're a CEO and you get fired, they'll often pay you more to go away than most people will make in their entire lifetime. For example, Mattel had a loser CEO who managed to make their stock worth half of what it had been. His punishment? Well, he got fired. And paid $25million.

This whole idea that the C-level guys are somehow "earning" those massive benefits by being superhuman beings needs to die, be decapitated, have a stake driven through it, burned and scattered to the winds.

A good worker is valuable, no question. But there's an old management aphorism about what you're supposed to do to irreplaceable people. The reason they get away with it has less to do with the scarcity of their talents than it does with the fact that they have one of the tightest unions around.

Re:Are they pawns or are they the devs behind bug? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44679977)

Dude . . . it's Goldman Sachs.

Re:Tokens. (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#44680815)

Manager: Are those changes going to be ready by Monday?
Specialists: We don't think so. We still want to test more.
Manager: Did it pass the unit tests?
Specialists: Yes, but we still are not comfortable enough to go to production. It needs more testing.
Manager: You guys are just overly cautious. Put it in.
Specialists:ummmm...
Giant System Crash
Manager: Dammit! Why didn't you test??? Yer Fired!

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678153)

"Trading Axis of Evil"

Where Wall Street meets IT (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678159)

Jobs becoming exponentially more complex and exponentially more time-critical, with exponentially-rising penalties for human error, all for the benefit of the exponentially-more lazy money club.

Re:Where Wall Street meets IT (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44678619)

Rising penalties? I just came in to say they got off easy. Administrative leave, OH NOES! They were making money deep into the 6-figures annually and caused a major fuckup that could have cost millions, if it didn't.

A friend of mine used to work at a bakery. Someone there got fired because they forgot to put the lid back on a drum of flour for a few minutes.

Quality software engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678193)

Our Excel sheet made a booboo.

HFT (1)

spacefight (577141) | about a year ago | (#44678197)

I wonder how they could cancel their mistrades that fast while crunching out those huge numbers of HFT orders every second...

Re:HFT (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#44678211)

probably some one in IT caught it... they will be beaten for it later

Re:HFT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678389)

Goldman doesn't do HFT, all algo trading is not high frequency.

Re:HFT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678491)

I Know, NYSE had to bust something like 18000 trades after EOD. What is interesting to me is how big firms can get away with this.

Re:HFT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679991)

I wonder how they could cancel their mistrades that fast while crunching out those huge numbers of HFT orders every second...

This the great thing about harbor freight tools you can return parts to your local store if you order the wrong parts online.

Quick Catch - No Peer Review (4, Interesting)

tiberus (258517) | about a year ago | (#44678209)

I'm surprised to hear new about 'suspects (my word)' so soon after the glitch occurred. It makes me wonder how a company, with the technical expertise to find the supposed root cause of the problem in a recent software update so quickly, failed to catch the error prior to the software being installed ?!?

Re:Quick Catch - No Peer Review (2)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#44680099)

The four are probably the whole team responsible for that subsystem. So once the subsystem was identified, it was easy to point fingers.

Mistakes happen, though. That's something these HFT systems don't really allow for: there *will* be screwups in the code from time to time.

One would think they'd do a statistical analysis of the risk of touching an HFT module at least before rolling it out, and see if it's worth the gamble.

Silly me. Thinking instead of playing golf and "doing lunch" with the powers that be.

administrative leave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678227)

Do these guys have contracts or something? Most of us are at-will hires. We don't get administrative leave, we get fired. Could also be that they have specialized knowledge and they are going to give them cash when they leave in exchange for transferring knowledge. The only time I have heard of 'administrative leave' is with government/union people. With at-will employment, you can be fired just because management feels like it.

Re:administrative leave? (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44678371)

Do these guys have contracts or something? Most of us are at-will hires. We don't get administrative leave, we get fired. Could also be that they have specialized knowledge and they are going to give them cash when they leave in exchange for transferring knowledge. The only time I have heard of 'administrative leave' is with government/union people. With at-will employment, you can be fired just because management feels like it.

As much as we love to bash big banking for looking at anyone not a pyschopath trader as a cost center, they need top talent.

Basically other slashdotters who work on these systems are on demands to change whole algorithms of the system within the hour by the traders whim with no QA, GET IT OUT FAST, but whoa if has a bug! You can't negotiate with these kinds of people who in their opinion generate real money and view themselves as supperior.

But they are not stupid and realize such great demands require a 6 figure salary, plus a bonus, plus being selective on a contract that the programmer will find more favorable. If they all said $12/hr take it or leave it and fire at will they will get crappy talent that could sink them fast. So the programmers here know the drill and the lack of job security so they negotiate it in a contract.

If you are in a job where your employer treats you like this then you are not valuable. Not to mean to insult as we all started out this way until we had to prove ourselves and or get a skill that made us more rare. Go find another employer who values your skills more if you have the experience by now or go do something about your skillset? Capitalism 101, both buyers and sellers will always take advantage of a weakness. If there are 10 folks begigng your job then your employer can do whatever the fuck he wants. If there are 10 jobs and you are the only one qualified, then you exploit the employers by walking if they do not offer you 6 figure salary, bonuses, own office etc.

Okay! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678259)

I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place or something. Shit! I always do that. I always mess up some mundane detail.

THIS IS] GOATSEX (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678273)

to th3 crowd in non-7ucking-existant.

Blame the IT guy (4, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | about a year ago | (#44678281)

Just another example of "blame the IT guy".

If it breaks, you don't fire the trader, the lawyer, CEO, VP, whoever. If you lose a billion dollars you don't jail Jon Corzine. If you gamble people's money, you get a golden parachute.

But if you're an IT guy, everything better be perfect, otherwise you'll get fired (lucky) or sent to jail (unlucky).

It may be the IT guy this time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678413)

Just another example of "blame the IT guy".

It may be the IT guy this time. It sounds as if it was either software doing the trading or at least software feeding bogus quotes to human traders.

Re:Blame the IT guy (2)

kiwimate (458274) | about a year ago | (#44678481)

I suggest you read the article. It talks about a specific subset of trades that were affected due to a problem resulting from an upgrade. It further discusses the impact in a company which prides itself on risk management.

That would seem to imply that it is thought possible an IT upgrade was performed without adequate backout provisions or due diligence.

Re:Blame the IT guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678623)

More than likely an IT upgrade was forced through by an MBA trying to get his quarterly bonus. Or maybe the testing phase was abbreviated because they weren't funded for a proper testing and QA environment. (Remember, IT is a cost, not a profit center)

It's not like IT gets to decide when it does things - IT management owns that responsibility. And if you'd ever worked with IT managers, you'd know that some of them can be as dumb as the sales guys when it comes to technological best practices.

Re:Blame the IT guy (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44678643)

I suggest you read the article. It talks about a specific subset of trades that were affected due to a problem resulting from an upgrade. It further discusses the impact in a company which prides itself on risk management.

That would seem to imply that it is thought possible an IT upgrade was performed without adequate backout provisions or due diligence.

I have read other comments from HFT programmers on slashdot and their bosses do not care about risk management. They want rewrites by the hour 100% bugfree 100% of the time so they can earn their money and beat the other HFT systems FIRST.

Perhaps one can comment, but I distrust officials from Wall Street claiming this as their actions dictate otherwise with unreasonable demands as their only performance metric is how much growth per hour.

Re:Blame the IT guy (1)

swb (14022) | about a year ago | (#44678995)

"I suggest you read the article. It talks about a specific subset of trades that were affected due to a problem resulting from an upgrade. It further discusses the impact in a company which prides itself on lobbying, cronyism and legalistic obfuscation."

There, I fixed the spelling error you had..

Re:Blame the IT guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679321)

I suggest you read the summary instead. There is nothing more in TA.

Corzine is a special case, close ally of Obama (1)

drnb (2434720) | about a year ago | (#44678505)

If you lose a billion dollars you don't jail Jon Corzine.

John Corzine was a special case. He was a close political ally of President Obama.

"Former New Jersey governor and U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine, whom President Obama once hailed as an “honorable man” and one of his “best partners” in the White House, has been subpoenaed to testify before Congress about his role in the collapse of the investment firm MF Global."
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/12/jon-corzine-obama-partner-and-campaign-financier-subpoenaed-on-mf-global-collapse/ [go.com]

Re:Corzine is a special case, close ally of Obama (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44678813)

Because no one in Congress wants to get Obama?

are you high?

Re:Corzine is a special case, close ally of Obama (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44678951)

Because no one in Congress wants to get Obama?

No, not really. Sure, they'll make a big show, pontificating on the virtues of their party platform whilst simultaneously demonizing the opposing extreme ideologues, but truth be told the TLA's (who operate outside the Constitution and thus, above the federal government) have enough dirt scraped up by now to bury each and every one of those motherfuckers in a mountain of their own shit, Commander-in-Chief included.

Truth be told, they're all in the same sinking dinghy. The 'he said, she said' back and forth is purely for show.

are you high?

I wish - 'twould make this sort of knowledge a lot easier to cope with.

Re:Corzine is a special case, close ally of Obama (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44679543)

Basically my hope at this point is that Snowden included the files on all congresscritters and their staff, federal judges and their staff, the entire executive branch for the last six administrations, the entire staff (for twenty years) of GoldmanSachs and all members of all 50 state governments in his insurance file.

Having that come out would make me smile like very little else could.

Re:Corzine is a special case, close ally of Obama (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44679975)

Having that come out would make me smile like very little else could.

I second that emotion.

Re:Corzine is a special case, close ally of Obama (1)

drnb (2434720) | about a year ago | (#44679115)

Because no one in Congress wants to get Obama?

And when has Attorney General Eric Holder shown any care about what Congress thinks regarding his administrative and prosecutorial decisions? When has Holder shown any reluctance to take the political heat in order to shield the President?

And frankly that is his job, albeit to stay with the Constitution and the law while doing so. Once confirmed by the Senate an Attorney General couldn't care less about the Congress.

Re:Blame the IT guy (2)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | about a year ago | (#44678515)

This is why I didn't go into computer engineering as a young lad. I recognized that computers were tools, and the people trained to maintain and program them were going to end up as essentially service personnel. The high-level managers consider sysadmins to be one notch above a janitor. Shameful, but true. I realized this quite young.

Instead, I went into physics. I'm not appreciably higher in the corporate architecture, but what I do is so arcane nobody believes that I'm easily replaced. If sysadmins are treated like janitors, a scientist is treated like a skilled seamstress -- I'm still 'labor', but it costs so much to find someone who can do my job they're willing to cut me a little slack.

Re:Blame the IT guy (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44678625)

I had an uncle that tried to do that. Turned out that his physics degree was so esoteric that he had trouble finding a job.

He ended up being a produce clerk.

Re:Blame the IT guy (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44678803)

I had an uncle that tried to do that. Turned out that his physics degree was so esoteric that he had trouble finding a job.

He ended up being a produce clerk.

Well worse case scenario he can apply to be a science teacher. Not a glamour job but almost anything fucking pays better and would give benefits than being a produce clerk.

Same states even have programs for non teaching majors to enter the field. Yes you have rotten kids but at least you do not have to pay for healthcare and cost actually teach science and have a somewhat middle class salary.

Re:Blame the IT guy (1)

drnb (2434720) | about a year ago | (#44679371)

I had an uncle that tried to do that. Turned out that his physics degree was so esoteric that he had trouble finding a job. He ended up being a produce clerk.

Well worse case scenario he can apply to be a science teacher. Not a glamour job but almost anything fucking pays better and would give benefits than being a produce clerk. Same states even have programs for non teaching majors to enter the field. Yes you have rotten kids but at least you do not have to pay for healthcare and cost actually teach science and have a somewhat middle class salary.

It depends on the timeframe. Grocery store jobs used to pay quite well and have generous benefits. It may have been a better job than school teacher.

Re:Blame the IT guy (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44679413)

Walmart quickly changed that. I dated a girl who did that and she got paid minimum wage with no benefits and she has worked there for 5 years.

If anyone can do it included an undocumented worker then it pays to pay the least amount of money possible.

Re:Blame the IT guy (1)

drnb (2434720) | about a year ago | (#44680047)

Walmart quickly changed that. I dated a girl who did that and she got paid minimum wage with no benefits and she has worked there for 5 years. If anyone can do it included an undocumented worker then it pays to pay the least amount of money possible.

Yes and no. Tech has also changed things. Not so long ago a couple of major supermarket chains in my area went on strike. Within a couple of months my local supermarket converted 2 of 12 checkouts to self serve. You scan the bar codes yourself, swipe your debit/credit card, and RFID scanners make sure all of your items were scanned.

Self serve can not be used by everyone. It only handles packaged goods, no self bagged veggies for example. Well, most packaged goods, booze is an exception.

Re:Blame the IT guy (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44679489)

It's tough to get a job as a teacher unless you got your education certification while you were getting your undergrad degree. As you point out there are some programs that make some VERY LIMITED exceptions. But even with those, you're always treated as a second-class teacher if you don't have certification. And it's hard to advance your career, get raises, or even keep your job until you get it.

You can't just walk into most primary/secondary schools in the U.S. and say "Hey, I'm a Ph.D. in physics and I'd like a job, please" and get it. You're not in the fraternity if you didn't go through the proper pledgeship.

Military officers fast tracked to teaching ... (1)

drnb (2434720) | about a year ago | (#44679921)

It's tough to get a job as a teacher unless you got your education certification while you were getting your undergrad degree. As you point out there are some programs that make some VERY LIMITED exceptions.

When I received my MS CS I was told that California has an exception to the education certification requirement for people with an Master's. Of course I never looked into it so I can't say if this is 100% accurate.

But even with those, you're always treated as a second-class teacher if you don't have certification. And it's hard to advance your career, get raises, or even keep your job until you get it.

Yes and no. A few teacher of the year awards can change that.

I read an article about a government program where retiring military officers were somehow fast tracked into teaching positions. A retiring Army Colonel became a HS math teacher and as you describe the existing teachers were angry. One exceptionally ignorant teacher literally asked the retired Colonel what he could possibly know about teaching teenagers. The retired Colonel politely explained that he has been teaching and leading teenagers for over 20 years. After a few years at the school, where he received a few awards, most of the teaching staff became converts and accepted him. The few who didn't made arguments that seemed more political than teaching related.

Re:Military officers fast tracked to teaching ... (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year ago | (#44680683)

The few who didn't made arguments that seemed more political than teaching related.

The education industry in a nutshell. I worked with a teacher who was ex-military. His indoctrination went pretty smoothly once he got his Master's, but people still felt like he was kind of a dick. He was, but he was a damn good teacher despite that.

Education can pretty harsh to outsiders, especially those with a political belief system that clashes (anti-union, anti-federal control, free textbooks, etc). I've seen an entire school dismantled and the principal ousted simply because he was a conservative and was on the "shit-list" of state administrators (this particular school served students other districts refused to take, and had the highest transition rate back to their home district than any other in the state). It was not long afterward that the school failed completely, as nearly the entire staff left in support of the boss.

Re:Blame the IT guy (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44678671)

This is why I didn't go into computer engineering as a young lad. I recognized that computers were tools, and the people trained to maintain and program them were going to end up as essentially service personnel. The high-level managers consider sysadmins to be one notch above a janitor. Shameful, but true. I realized this quite young.

Instead, I went into physics. I'm not appreciably higher in the corporate architecture, but what I do is so arcane nobody believes that I'm easily replaced. If sysadmins are treated like janitors, a scientist is treated like a skilled seamstress -- I'm still 'labor', but it costs so much to find someone who can do my job they're willing to cut me a little slack.

Until your boss realizes he can get scientists in China and India with no plumbing who would happily work for peanuts.

Unless a job needs to be done physically here you will be viewed as a cost. I notice a rise in people becoming teachers recently. It is because those jobs are not considered valuable where as before the great recession no one would dare think this unless they had a passion for it or were moms and wanted the same days off as their kids. But it is a job that needs to be here and can't be outsourced.

Re:Blame the IT guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679151)

This is why I didn't go into computer engineering as a young lad. I recognized that computers were tools, and the people trained to maintain and program them were going to end up as essentially service personnel. The high-level managers consider sysadmins to be one notch above a janitor. Shameful, but true. I realized this quite young.

The fact that you don't understand the difference between a computer engineer and a I.T. technician indicates that you made the right decision.

Re: Blame the IT guy (1)

ted leaf (2960563) | about a year ago | (#44679999)

so what are the differences between the two then?

Re:Blame the IT guy (1)

Nethead (1563) | about a year ago | (#44679257)

Tell me about it. At our 200 person aerospace company the facilities and IT are one two-man department. Our trouble ticket system tracks both bad keyboards and toilet issues.

The call I hate to get starts off with, "do you know where a plunger is?" I know what the next question is going to be.

Re:Blame the IT guy (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year ago | (#44679657)

I joke that I'm a janitor all the time, but someone must've watched Fight Club, because I at least get treated with respect by my 'superiors'.

Honestly, some days I do feel like a janitor, but a janitor *wishes* he could replace himself with a very small shell-script (that thankfully only he would understand).

Re:Blame the IT guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44680975)

Being a janitor that makes a six figure salary is fine by me.

Re:Blame the IT guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678615)

And your post is just another example of how the IT guy never thinks it's his fault... can't possibly be something wrong with HIS systems. It MUST be someone else. Users are the stupid ones, right?

IT people need to stop the elitist attitudes. Half the time I call our IT department to report a problem they tell me "No all our systems are working fine, there's no problem at all" and all the while I can hear them furiously typing as they're fixing whatever the issue is so that when I try again it's fixed and then I look like the idiot.

So, yeah, I say blame the IT guy. If it's really not their fault, they should be able to show that easily enough and then everyone moves on to finding the real cause... or maybe they'll find that it IS actually their fault and it'll knock them down a peg. Fuck knows they need it sometimes.

Punishment Fits the Crime (5, Funny)

cookYourDog (3030961) | about a year ago | (#44678319)

Wreck a few trades: Suspension! Wreck the global economy: Free federal loans and an even greater share of aggregate wealth!

Those guys were already laid off from GS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678335)

But they kept getting their paychecks - until they fixed the glitch.

Surprised Goldman didn't sic the FBI after them (4, Funny)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44678365)

Losing money for Goldman is a federal crime, punishable by a 10 year sentence with no trial.

Re:Surprised Goldman didn't sic the FBI after them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678485)

Its early yet.

Re:Surprised Goldman didn't sic the FBI after them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678581)

Goldman is the largest of the Rothchild's Jewish trading minion.

why are we calling it this? (3, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44678473)

Administrative leave is a temporary leave from a job assignment, with pay and benefits intact. Generally, the term is reserved for employees of non-business institutions such as schools, police, and hospitals.

this is an investment firm, with at-will employment. While im certain the glitch was of great concern to "investor confidence" this just feels like an absurd move to stifle any possibility of a negative market reaction, imaginary or concrete. If i were the IT guy being awarded this transition in employment, it would be difficult not to offer an ultimatum. That if, as its implied by the administrative leave, you in fact value me so much as a team member and employee, perhaps you should judge me by my past works and not by your board of directors insipid demand for job reassignment routinely applied to a police officer after she kills a suspect.
id also be more inclined to check across the street and see if any other investment firms might care to hire a coder.

Re:why are we calling it this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678877)

GS would have those guys loaded up with non-competes stacked 6 feet high so they have them completely and they know they can't just walk to the next firm.

Re:why are we calling it this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679703)

It could also be the case of ``I take full responsibility.'' without actually being personally responsible for the glitch. Plenty of senior tech folks oversee many projects, some of them may screw up from time to time... the senior dude with the balls might just step up and say ``this was my team and my responsibility'' so that the little guys under him doesn't get a much harsher treatment.

Re:why are we calling it this? (1)

Cederic (9623) | about a year ago | (#44681033)

I very strongly get the impression that's not the culture or type of person that works there.

If you have read the Vanity Fair articles (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#44678501)

If you've read the Vanity Fair articles you know that the problem is not the IT, it's the senior management at Goldman that patches together spaghetti code and STEALS OPEN SOURCE CODE by slicing off the headers from the code they stole.

Nothing good ever came from Goldman.

Ever.

Re:If you have read the Vanity Fair articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679793)

If you've read the Vanity Fair articles you know that the problem is not the IT, it's the senior management at Goldman that patches together spaghetti code and STEALS OPEN SOURCE CODE by slicing off the headers from the code they stole.

Would it be so hard to link the article [vanityfair.com] . If even two people read your post, it saves time to provide a link. It's silly to write something you don't expect to be read, especially when you seem to want us to read the unlinked article, which says:

At Sergeâ(TM)s trial Kevin Marino, his lawyer, flashed two pages of computer code: the original, with its open-source license on top, and a replica, with the open-source license stripped off and replaced by the Goldman Sachs license.

Re:If you have read the Vanity Fair articles (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#44679997)

Or, since it's the current issue, you could just use this thing called google ...

Re:If you have read the Vanity Fair articles (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#44681015)

STEALS OPEN SOURCE CODE by slicing off the headers from the code they stole.

While that is an abhorrent practice, open source licenses recognize concept of the company as an individual (implicitly if not explicitly). It is a legal necessity for copy-left to work with the existing framework of copyright law. Because of this, it is legally okay for a company to use modified open source code internally without public disclosure of modifications because that doesn't count as redistribution under the law.

The AGPL's extra requirements for software as a service are the only real impediment to this in the realm of open source licenses. Even that only takes effect if you are using modified code for an externally accessible network service.

The life of Administrator (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678503)

The life of a Sys Admin is at the best is goal less draw. Either you loose or at best draw. You can never win.

Point the finger (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44678601)

The programmers are pointing to the specs and saying it did what it was supposed to.

The analysts are pointing to the business requirements and user acceptance tests and saying that it did what asked us for.

The business is pointing to IT and saying it was a computer glitch.

Sound about right?

You should fire manamgment (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44678797)

for not have a redundant system to test on.

Re:You should fire manamgment (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#44679507)

Always mount a scratch monkey.

High speed low quality. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44678829)

Suspending the techs for a Mistake is kinda stupid.
Financial Systems are all about speed. To get that sort of speed,you need to drop as many checks as possible.
You don't check to see if the String sent is an int, you just process and hope for the best. You may be creating a bunch of duplicate records and messes, but you don't have time to check, it goes it and it goes out as fast as possible.

The reason why OS's and programs are so bloated today compared to 20 years ago, is because we have the power for the most part to put checks in the system. Most languages now have a Try and Catch exceptions, so we don't need to blow up when something goes wrong. We have robust classes that process information much more carefully. That is why your Windows 3.1 BSOD when you looked at it the wrong way, and your never seen a Windows 7 BSOD unless you were really doing something stupid. Or your Xwindows session in Linux use to cause lockups where you needed to telnet in from an other system to fix it, vs now where that rarely ever happens. More solid code comes at a cost of performance.

So, speculations about the bug? (1)

pipatron (966506) | about a year ago | (#44679633)

Frankly, I'm disappointed having read so many comments in this thread and not one talks about the most important for a geek site like slashdot: How do manage to get a bug like this?

Nothing is very special with HIJKL that makes them stick out or warrant exceptional handling.

Re: So, speculations about the bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44681049)

They're probably the symbols handled by the particular instance of software. They had likely "upgraded" only this instance, instead of the entire universe of symbols at once. Had they pushed the software to all production servers, it probably would have been much worse...

Machine trading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44679803)

Read 'Dark Pools' by scott patterson.

From TFA (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a year ago | (#44679931)

Reporting by Krithika Krishnamurthy in Bangalore; Editing by Chris Gallagher

So is the the IT outsourced or just the reporting?

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