SEC continues to hunt for 6 May flash crash cause

FRUSTRATED lawmakers yesterday pressed regulators to move faster to pinpoint the cause of the mysterious 6 May market crash, known as the “flash crash”.

Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission told a Senate banking committee, working on a joint report, admitted yesterday that they had yet to find a catalyst for why the US stock market plunged and rebounded inside a 20-minute period on 6 May.

Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Mary Schapiro defended her agency and said more than 100 SEC staffers were working around the clock, analyzing millions of trades, and probing any wrongdoing.

Regulators have been analysing more than 19bn shares traded 6 May and are examining a multitude of factors, including the links between declines in prices of stock index products such as E-mini S&P futures contracts and the use of stop-loss market orders. Schapiro has found no evidence so far of a big “fat finger” trade.