They want to think that machines are biddable and programs run smoothly. But with traders and market makers creating and deploying new systems and algorithms constantly, the danger of something going wrong is inevitable.
The U.S. markets are on the edge of chaos right now. We've been seduced by the technological beauty of these intricately interwoven systems but are now being betrayed by the chaos and non-linearity of their interactions with each other.
You might think the experience of pulling Knight Capital out of the flaming wreckage of its high-speed trading crash might make Wall Street finally see the need for regulation of high-speed trading. You would of course be dead wrong.