Whodunit

We’re not saying it’s squirrels, just that squirrels have taken down the Nasdaq before

August 22, 2013
August 22, 2013

At last glance, the iconic electronic stock market known as the Nasdaq remains dead as a doornail. The exchange has attributed the outage to an unexplained “issue.” So at this point, we’re forced to ask the unthinkable: Is it squirrels again?

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The rodents have twice disrupted Nasdaq trading. In December 1987, an energetic squirrel ate into a crucial cable that cut power in Trumbull, Connecticut, where Nasdaq’s main trading computers were located at the time.

Hah! A once-in-a-lifetime outlier, right? Wrong. Bushy-tailed nut-hoarders brought the Nasdaq to a standstill for 34 minutes in 1994, when a squirrel chomped through yet another cable.

We’re not saying squirrels are to blame today. We’re just saying it’s too early to rule them out.

Update (3:40 p.m.): The Nasdaq has resumed trading, but the cause of the trading freeze remains a mystery for now.

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