Have you ever lost a million dollars in 4 ½ seconds? Neither have we. Peter Nabicht, however, once wrote an algorithmic trading program that did exactly that, when one of his teammates misplaced a decimal on a minor tweak to the algo. Though the blame could have easily gone to Nabicht and/or one his colleagues, none of them was fired over the incident. Why? For one, though the tuition was steep, each received a valuable education from the incident. Plus, each team member accepted responsibility for the actions, meaning none tried to say, “It’s not my job.”
Nabicht says that in ultra-complex socio-technical systems, as in most not-so-complex systems, the phrase “not my job” should not be part of the lexicon. He says a well functioning marketplace benefits all of us, thus we should share in the responsibility of ensuring well functioning capital markets.