Goldman losses from options glitch in tens of millions: source

Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:39pm EDT

A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 16, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) lost tens of millions of dollars after a computer glitch led to a flood of erroneous options trades last week, a source close to the matter said on Monday.

Last Tuesday, an upgrade of Goldman's internal system affected options on stocks and some exchange-traded funds with symbols beginning with the letters H through L, leading to trades vastly out of line with market prices.

Roughly 80 percent of the erroneous option-market contracts traded on NYSE Euronext's two option platforms NYSE Arca Options and NYSE Amex options were cancelled, according to a second source close to the situation.

The two platforms have collectively handled about 23 percent of equity and index options trading in August, according to data from OCC, formerly known as the Options Clearing Corp, which clears all U.S.-listed options.

NYSE Euronext NYX.N said it completed a review and appeals process last week but declined to give further details.

The options trading snafu was the first of what was a rough week for trading last week, as it was followed by a three-hour shutdown of the Nasdaq Stock Market due to connectivity issues on Thursday.

Earlier, the Financial Times reported that Goldman Sachs put four senior technology specialists on administrative leave as a result of the trading mishap. The report cited people familiar with the situation.

Goldman Sachs said in a statement on August 20 that it did not face material loss or risk from the problem, but declined to comment further.

Exchange operator CBOE Holdings Inc (CBOE.O), which has the largest market share in combined single-stock and index options at 29 percent so far in August, completed its review process last week, but it did not comment on the number of trades affected.

A spokeswoman for the International Securities Exchange, confirmed that a majority of the trades under review at ISE were adjusted and not canceled. ISE, which is owned by Germany's Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1Gn.DE), did not disclose any other details.

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc's (NDAQ.O) which operates three option venues, declined to comment.

(Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York and Doris Frankel in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Comments (3)
Mott wrote:
“..tens of millions..”

Rounding error.

Aug 26, 2013 4:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Harry079 wrote:
“with symbols beginning with the letters H through L, leading to trades vastly out of line with market prices.”

When you dance with the Devil sometimes you have to pay the band.

Aug 26, 2013 5:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Laster wrote:
Just so we get the story straight, this is a case of a few Rogue IT guys/gals ?

Is this one of those situations where no one can say anything?
Communications are handled by a few quick discreet nods and eyes blinking morse code?

Why is this so weird secret ?

Aug 26, 2013 6:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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