Well we all watched in fascinated silence yesterday as some relatively unknown bot armed with knowledge of grade 2 math managed to predict the URL address where the Twitter’s earnings were to remain hidden from public view until the close. Once found, the bot used the tweeter to leak the tweeter’s numbers. Which is the nerd equivalent of tattooing “Tom Cruz is gay” on Tom Cruz’s forehead. (Tom Cruz being a fictitional character in this instance….).
The resulting market action was like a fire drill at a dyslexic’s convention as the stock dropped, stopped and then rolled.
The questions that arise are many
1 why was the Selerity bot snooping in non public places?
2 why was the page accessible prior to market close?
3 where any other IP addresses caught under the covers pre close?
4 has Nasdaq started a review of other earnings announcements to look for a pattern of such snooping?
5 why is the next IR url so easily predictable?
6 are we really going to have an NFL draft without first being told the status of deflategate?
The market needs to know if this is truly a one off incident or, as is more likely, a common occurrence accidentally made public by an idiot savant. We need to reasses the notion of earnings right at the close…this already created a scandal with the Nasdaq MOC facility a couple of years back.
The awesome advance of technology has lead the legion of middle talent lawyers staffing our regulatory bodies in a constant state of ineffectiveness. They are always overwhelmed. Like the Toronto Maple Leafs minus the delusional fan base. We need to rethink our regulatory framework. And we need to throw a serious elbow at idiots actually caught abusing the system.
So Dear Mr. Selerity you better have a seriously good excuse for your bots trolling the dark recesses of the corporate inter webs, or you need to pay a steep price. Other curious cats need to see the cost of such snooping and realize hard work isn’t a suckers game.
The secondary equity markets are the most efficient in the world BECAUSE of unmatched transparency. That transparency has a cost. When we fuck up, we end up on the world stage with our dicks flapping in the breeze. I’m not a prude by any stretch, but lately we have been showing way too much of our dicks. Let’s all smarten the fuck up.