People may not remember what it was that popped the NASDAQ tech bubble. I was there – I remember.
Attorney General Janet Reno announced that she was going to initiate antitrust action against the evil Microsoft in November 1999 following a victory in court. I warned my boss that we needed to expect extremely high trading volume the next day. My boss ignored ,,the advice – we had a tested fix all ready to put into production to deal with an unexpected surge in volume, but the powers-that-be decided not to install it.
I just happened to be scheduled to go to a rare meeting in New York City the next day, along with a man named Tim Vincent, who was two levels higher than me in NASDAQ management. I’m sitting there with Mr. Vincent in New York helpless, knowing that our most important trading system (SelectNet) IS going to crash. There is no way around it.
The only alternative was to warn the entire stock market that NASDAQ is going to have to shut down in the middle of the day, while we implement a completely untested workaround. By taking this system offline for perhaps half an hour, we will at least be able to limp through to the closing at 4 p.m. the NASDAQ bubble cratered starting on that day. The big drop would occur on April 3, 2000 when Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson concluded the case against Microsoft.
For reasons that I don’t totally understand, the Democrats are playing right into President Trump’s hand. The US House is moving forward with proposing antitrust actions against the big players in the internet today – Google, Facebook, Amazon, et al. Democrats have a long history of using government power to dismember the rich. Things could get ugly very fast. It will be curious to see how the Washington Post (owned by Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos) covers this.