(By Karl Denninger) Knight Capital (KCG
), known as the firm that was the Knightmare on Wall Street
the other day, now appears to be poised to survive.
TD Ameritrade and Scottrade are reported to have resumed routing to the company. The loss-making their errant program caused, however, might have, by happenstance, turned into a winner.
That is, if they had any long positions still open.
Why? Because an awful lot of stocks are higher now than they were when they had their "accident."
The potential irony if the company winds up with a much smaller loss than they counted on originally as a result of not immediately "clearing the deck" when the problem was discovered, would be an amusing footnote -- happenstance manages to save them -- instead of sink them.
Possible? Not very likely, but possible, yes.
In any event it appears that the company will survive. Last night I put out a video (available to forum gold donors, as is the usual for my most-trading-night videos) in which I noted a potential for an all-on market collapse out of this event, requiring one specific thing to have happened that some people were rumoring to have happened but for which there was no evidence.
The genesis of that might have been some musings by other, responsible people, who simply asked "what if." But the Internet rumor machine was another matter, and the chatter became quite loud and was likely responsible for a big part of the sell-off yesterday.
My analysis pointed out that if that event had occurred then you may as well just short everything -- or just bend over and kiss it goodbye, as the old boogieman "counterparty risk" was about to show up in spades.
However, my analysis discounted the probability of this rumor being true because there was neither motive or opportunity for the company to have done the requisite evil thing.
As it turns out it appears I was right in this regard. I bought a little speculative slug as a short-term trade, looking at it as an option that doesn't expire.
This afternoon I'm grinning, and I hope you are too.
Disclosure: Long KCG, although with this sort of gain and my intent -- a "quick hit" -- I may take the money before the bell.