No flash crash: Paulson, Pimco and the US Treasury meltdown

Flight to quality, bad bets, short covering and a gamma trap – those are the reasons US Treasury yields briefly behaved like penny stocks, according to buy- and sell-side traders. The fear now is that similar bouts of volatility could be a feature of post-crisis markets. Kris Devasabai reports



Financial markets witnessed one of the biggest, weirdest moves in their history on October 15 – the intraday collapse and rebound of US Treasury yields – prompting an immediate inquest. In the days that followed, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic quizzed banks, hedge funds and other big trading firms about the causes. What they heard surprised them.

The early explanation was that big hedge funds had been crowding into the same, loss-making trades –

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