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What is a Fat Finger Errors and Some Historical Errors?

Fat Finger Errors

What is a Fat Finger Errors and Some Historical Errors?

Many of us would be thinking what is fat finger error. We do know many types of error but “what is this fat finger error ?”. Well relax guys, in this post we are going to tell you about the fat finger errors and some historic events involving fat finger error.

Meaning of Fat Finger Errors ?

A fat finger error is a slang term which is used to denote some typing error. It is usually a small typo, such as an extra digit, that has out sized consequences.

Where is the this term used ?

This is a very common slang and can be used anywhere but mostly this slang is used for stock market trade errors, brokerage firms etc.

Some Historical Fat finger Errors:

Fat finger errors can lead to huge disruptions in stock market. Let’s look on some events involving fat error frauds:-

Japan 2014

An unidentified Japanese brokerage firm luckily avoided a stock order worth $711 bn before it could be executed, according to report of Bloomberg. The order included the 1.9 bn shares in World’s largest car maker Toyota which was approximately 57% of the company’s total shares. A human error almost caused one of the biggest threats to orderly markets. Seriously, the firm was lucky enough as it managed to cancel the order.

Japan 2005

Not everyone is lucky like the unidentified Japanese trader. The Tokyo stock market and later the Australian stock market was plunged to chaos when Mizuho Securities mistakenly tried to sell 6,10,000 shares in a company J-Com for 1 Yen instead of selling 1 share for 6,10,000 Yen. The firm was not able to cancel the order and cost the job of the president of the TSE along with two other exchange directors. Seriously dude Ouch‼

London 2001

A London based Lehman Brothers trader wiped € 44 bn off the FTSE 100 when he ordered sales of shares in companies like British Petroleum and AstraZeneca that was 100 times larger than intended. He keyed £ 300m instead of £ 3m for a trade causing a 120 point drop in the index and a fine of £ 20,000 for Lehman Brothers. That fingering hurts.

Bank of America 2006

Rugby could be harmful sometimes. A BOA’s trader was set up to execute an order. When the senior trader gives the signal, he just had to press the enter button. Roughhousing traders tossed a rugby ball in his direction which landed on the keyboard and executed the $50m trade ahead of schedule.

October 2002

Bears are really harmful for stock markets. A trader at US Bank Bear Stearn was blamed for a 100 point fall in Dow Jones Industrial Average after he entered a $4bn sell order instead of $4m. More than $600 m of stock changed hands before the mistake was detected. 3 extra zeroes made a slump of 183 point that day.

January 1999

A careless UBS equity specialist executed the world’s single biggest share trade when he bought and sold nearly SFR 190 bn of stock in Swiss Pharma company Roche in 2 minutes. The 10 million share sell order must have been a surprise to the Swiss exchange, seeing there was only 7 million shares in the float.

South Korea 2018

Samsung is really making history. Samsung Securities Co., a stock trading arm of South Korea’s Samsung conglomerate accidentally issued close to $105 bn worth of shares to its employees. An employee of SSC caused the firm in paying out a massive dividend in form of its own shares to 2018 employees who were members of a company stock ownership scheme. The dividend was supposed to be 1000 won ($0.94) per share. But the employee mistook the form of measurement confusing won and shares. In all, the company deposited 2.8 bn shares worth 111.8 tn won ($104.8 bn) into the employee accounts – more than 30 times the company’s existing issued shares.

Guys these are some fat finger errors occurred in past. An accidental key press could lead to whole lot disruption. Hope you liked it.

Feel free to comment at

-CA Sparsh Bansal

Fat Finger Errors

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