|Fool the trading clock and bad things happen. While it's unlikely damage has yet been done by time thieves, there's significant potential for trouble.|
The price of a deal depends on when it gets done. The faster deals close, the thinner the slice of time needed to accurately price the transaction. Trading intervals of thousandths, millionths and, yes, even billionths of a second are now commonly measured. And unknown to many, these tiny fractions of a second are sliced by using readily available global positioning technologies. Who knew, but the GPS tools that tell your iPhone and Droid where the nearest lattes are are the same ones markets use to track the time trades close. "Though we do a lot with the time signals we get from the GPS system, that is the basis for much of the time-stamping we do," says Andrew Bach, senior vice president and global head of network services for the NYSE.