As a semi-professional writer, I'm well aware of the pitfalls of the typo. But I learnt this week that a slip of the finger can lead to things a lot worse than an embarrassing misprint.
It's been alleged that the Dow Jones fiasco earlier this month, which saw the best part of $700bn of stock market value obliterated inside 10 minutes, was caused by what is known in industry parlance as a fat finger trade. Rumours have pointed the finger (fat or otherwise) at financial services powerhouse CitiGroup, claiming that one of its traders accidentally sold 16 billion shares in Procter & Gamble.
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that, on a standard qwerty keyboard, the 'b' (for billion) is separated from the 'm' (for million) by just one key. It's an easy mistake to make - and I bet that in the aftermath the hapless chap felt like a right... banker.
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