Auction System Failure Forces US Treasury To Postpone 3, 6-Month Bill Auctions


It’s hard to believe that the computer systems running multi-billion dollar markets are crashing, like the Nasdaq has been doing on a near weekly basis.  But now it’s happening to the US Treasury market.  It makes one wonder about the real stability of our markets, when the systems that run them are constantly breaking.

While nobody is impressed by breaking equity and options markets anymore, since this has become a virtually daily ocurrence and the habituation level is high, bond markets, and especially the US government’s “guaranteed” bond issuance machinery, are a different matter altogether. Which is why any time something out of the ordinary happens, people pay attention. Such as what happened moments ago when the US Treasury announced that it would delay the closing of the 3 and 6 month Bill auctions, originally scheduled to close today, to tomorrow.

The reason: “an error that occurred during a test of Treasury’s auction system.”

This is curious, as it implies there was a test of the system running concurrent with the actual bond auction. One wonders if instead of the stated reason, there simply wasn’t yet another “glitch” with TAAPS, which as we reported in September, had an error due to an order by none other than Goldman Sachs, being stuck in the quere, for reasons unknown resulting in yet another abnormal 3 and 6 month Bill auction.