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Old 04-11-2018, 05:16 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
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I used to work at an investment bank, and part of my compensation was paid in shares of my bank, and a popular rule of thumb among low-level drones like me was that you sold your shares as soon as they were delivered. Senior partners might be doing wild stuff like buying more stock, or selling puts, or whatever, but they were rich. For the rest of us, our careers were already so leveraged to the health of our bank that it seemed silly to hold any more shares than we had to. So every year some of my stock compensation would become unrestricted, and I'd sell it that day.

But I don't recall ever having selling reflexes quite as catlike as this:
A Samsung Securities employee caused the firm to pay out a massive dividend in the form of its own shares to 2,018 employees who were members of a company stock-ownership scheme.

The dividend was supposed to be 1,000 won ($0.94) per share. But the employee mistook the form of measurement, confusing won and shares. The error caused Samsung Securities to issue a dividend that was 1,000 times the value of each share held by the group of employees. ...

Sixteen staff members sold a collective five million shares worth about $186.9 million minutes shortly after receiving them. It took the brokerage 37 minutes to completely block employees from selling the accidental shares, according to South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Services, a financial watchdog.
Some of those employees -- ones who "sold stock despite receiving warnings from the company not to do so" -- have been suspended, and the transactions seem to have been reversed. But really those 16 Samsung Securities employees should be among the great folk heroes of finance. Imagine coming to work one day; expecting a nice, you know, extra $500 of company stock; checking your account the moment the stock is supposed to hit; finding an extra $19 million instead (Samsung Securities shares traded in the neighborhood of 38,000 won at the time, so paying 1,000 shares rather than 1,000 won was a 38,000-fold increase); carefully pondering the likelihood that you were supposed to get a $19 million bonus and the ethical and career implications of cashing it in; and then cooly putting in a sell order and blasting out the entire windfall -- all in the 37 minutes before your employer noticed the problem. That is the sort of careful attention to detail, decisive action, coolness under pressure, sense of humor and ethical flexibility that you want in a stock trader. If Samsung doesn't appreciate these people, I am sure someone else will.

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