You pretty much want to side with Greifeld and embrace his rationalization for both screw-ups. You want to join him in saying that they weren't screw-ups at all but, rather, total validations of the strengths of the Nasdaq. After all, in the end, the Facebook deal did get done and the Nasdaq did open up.
My problem with that, though, is that the public has been so poorly served. Individuals regard the Nasdaq, indeed the system, as something that works day in and day out. Unless there's a specific physical threat to the entity, they don't believe it can go down.
Surely, I heard over and over from folks, there's a back-up. There must be some redundancy of a simpler variety that lets the market remain open for business via use of the technology of competing exchanges. What's the point of having these other operators if they can't help out to keep things open? How can the Nasdaq rely on just one feed for its operations? How does it not have an alternative, somewhere, with different technology?
Whatever the answer is, we know how Nasdaq is going to play it: "We're right, you are wrong, and it can't be done anyway."For a lot of the retail investors I've talked to, the lack of an explanation or an apology showed them that they simply don't belong in the market at all. Only the big investors can handle such a blase and routine attitude. Plus, because of the unhampered trading in ETFs that are made up of about 20% Nasdaq stocks, people are deeply suspicious that someone indeed had price discovery -- or else they, too, would have been shut down. We can blame everything on the government. If the SEC had chosen to regulate the Nasdaq with a heavier hand, than perhaps it wouldn't be as given to glitches like that of Facebook and the Freeze. But maybe the reason for the SEC's lack of intervention or sanctioning is similar to Greifeld's: Basically, the system is great, and stop asking questions for your own good. You don't deserve answers because, in the end, you're nothing, too. At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long FB.
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