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August 22, 2013

Bad Trades' Ripple Effect

“Goldman Sachs Group Inc. won a preliminary victory to limit losses from a wave of erroneous trades that roiled U.S. options markets on Tuesday.

After hours spent reviewing thousands of transactions, U.S. options-exchange officials on Wednesday decided to cancel most of the trades caused by a technical glitch in a Goldman trading system, people close to the matter said.

That could reduce potential losses for Goldman but hit a broad swath of trading firms that were on the other side of those transactions. People familiar with the matter on Tuesday estimated that Goldman’s losses from the mishap could run into hundreds of millions of dollars. The more trades the exchanges cancel, the lower Goldman’s costs.

Officials at exchanges such as NYSE EuronextNasdaq OMX GroupInc., CBOE Holdings Inc. and the International Securities Exchange spent Wednesday sifting through each errant transaction and informing traders which ones would be “broken,” or canceled. Each exchange has its own procedures.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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