• Rick (cs) in reply to zahlman
    zahlman:
    TRWTF, of course, is XML. No type-checking, and attributes aren't extensible (despite the name). It'd be much harder for either end to allow something like this to happen in, say, JSON.
    XML is NOT a WTF, XML without an adequate validating schema is.
  • Grovesy (cs) in reply to too_many_usernames
    too_many_usernames:
    I'm also not sure I understand what futures have to do with making an initial investment or deferring risk. Considering that crops have their own insurance anyway, I don't think I agree that futures are the risk management device you are claiming. A futures contract doesn't pay a farmer anything if the crop fails for instance.

    Futures you defer one risk (the price goes up or down or whatever direction your betting) however you do gain other risks (the price moves the wrong direction) or crops fail etc etc. In the end of the day you drop one risk and gain another and your betting the person on the other end of the phone has got it wrong.

    The risk is negated to a degree (but not completely otherwise you won't make a profit or loss) with hedging, which leads us to why something like the actual physical commodity market is 5% of the futures market. Similar to standard equities, the derivative markets are far larger than the actually underling equity markets.

    Investment Banks put allot of money into analysing the risk on their trading books.

  • Sanderman (unregistered)

    Wow. That might just be one of the biggest WTFs ever.

    And yeah, as others said, TRWTF is that default value of physical delivery in an environment where the opposite is the norm.

  • Grovesy (cs) in reply to Grovesy

    From what I read a while ago, I think it was Wembley stadium in London is a prime example of what can happen if you don't dable in Futures.

    The price of raw materials estimated at the start of the project was much much higher when they started placing physical orders.. a number of companies went bust.

    I would imagine an energy trading company like the one described sells energy wayyy into the future to retail units, manufacturing plants etc etc, so they have to set up complex hedging deals to ensure they can make a profit still when it comes to actually delivering the energy..

  • pedant #97334 (unregistered) in reply to too_many_usernames
    too_many_usernames:
    Pepster:
    I might be able to afford $1m in up-front costs if there's a demand for food TODAY, but I have to tie up that money for months before I can make a sale, and who knows what the demand will look like then? Futures allow me to hedge the risk that there will still be profitable prices in 8 months when my stuff is ready for sale.
    I'm also not sure I understand what futures have to do with making an initial investment or deferring risk. Considering that crops have their own insurance anyway, I don't think I agree that futures are the risk management device you are claiming. A futures contract doesn't pay a farmer anything if the crop fails for instance.
    There are two types of risk. Bad weather causing crops to fail is the kind of risk that insurance companies handle - there's a predictable chance of it happening, so they can crunch numbers and come up with an insurance premium to charge. So I guess you can take out insurance against that risk.

    Futures contracts protect against a different kind of risk: The risk that (between investing the money and harvesting) the price drops to a level that makes it uneconomical to produce. This is really the kind of risk that's dealt with by derivatives trading, it's not the sort of thing that insurance companies handle.

    So I guess farmers would want both.

  • Anon (unregistered)

    TRWTF is mentioning the movie Trading Places and not mentioning Jamie Lee Curtis' breasts.

    A defining moment of my childhood.

  • wingcommander (unregistered)

    I seem to remember a TV show with this premise...situation comedy from the fifties...same idea...guy wants to make a bundle in commodities and ends up taking delivery of pork bellies or such....

  • Brad-Close (unregistered)

    The Real WTF is that Brad, in spite of being a trading guru, did not close his open position on this order. Had he done so, the barges would atleast not have showed at his office.

    And, offcourse he would have wanted to close an open position on Coal.

  • Dan (unregistered) in reply to md5sum
    md5sum:
    soft-:
    too_many_usernames:
    How on earth has nobody yet mentioned that TRWTF is futures trading?

    Whoever thought of that scam deserves some kind of prize for convincing people that it's not a scam.

    hardly a scam if it allows food producers to be able to afford to produce food...

    I'll sell you 20,000 copies of a program I haven't written yet... :D

    That's a binding contract, bub. You'd better deliver or you'll face massive litigation.

  • anon (unregistered) in reply to Central Harlem Anonymous
    Central Harlem Anonymous:
    This story doesn't smell right. Futures contracts are highly standardized, including standardized delivery provisions. They *don't* deliver to your workplace or home.

    TRWTF is that the WTFSE coal contract specifies delivery duty unpaid at buyer's place of business.

    The other WTF is that it's not the WTFCE.

  • Peter (unregistered)

    bool physicallyDeliver = (getNodeVal("PhysicallyDeliver").toLower() == "true"); Kudos to the developer for verifying the correct case... but, a string can be infinitely more things than simply "true" or "false". Such as "1" or "0". Whoops.

    Err.., wouldn't that line of code set physicalDelivers to false unless it the string matches "true" ?

  • too_many_usernames (cs) in reply to pedant #97334
    pedant #97334:
    too_many_usernames:
    There are two types of risk. Bad weather causing crops to fail is the kind of risk that insurance companies handle - there's a predictable chance of it happening, so they can crunch numbers and come up with an insurance premium to charge. So I guess you can take out insurance against that risk.

    Futures contracts protect against a different kind of risk: The risk that (between investing the money and harvesting) the price drops to a level that makes it uneconomical to produce. This is really the kind of risk that's dealt with by derivatives trading, it's not the sort of thing that insurance companies handle.

    So I guess farmers would want both.

    Futures contracts don't protect against that risk, they just move it around. I agree that from the standpoint of a producer futures contracts are good, but from an overall economic standpoint risk is still there.

    I even understand, now that I think about it, that futures traders help manage this through hedging so that if the spot prices decline on some commodities during production periods on one product they don't lose their entire shirt assuming other commodities' prices increase. I suspect that there are unintended side effects to this though.

    So in summary, I think futures contracts may indeed be helpful to individual commodities producers but not necessarily beneficial to the economy as a whole. (I'm kind of a holistic guy though, so that's probably why futures markets bug me.)

  • Yardik (unregistered) in reply to Peter
    bool physicallyDeliver = (getNodeVal("PhysicallyDeliver").toLower() == "true"); Kudos to the developer for verifying the correct case... but, a string can be infinitely more things than simply "true" or "false". Such as "1" or "0". Whoops.

    Err.., wouldn't that line of code set physicalDelivers to false unless it the string matches "true" ?

    Yes.. That is the point. Since it returned 1 (should be true) and the code converted that to boolean false. Hence the confirmation looked valid, even if they double check to see that delivery is false.

  • stirFry (unregistered) in reply to Peter
    Peter:
    bool physicallyDeliver = (getNodeVal("PhysicallyDeliver").toLower() == "true"); Kudos to the developer for verifying the correct case... but, a string can be infinitely more things than simply "true" or "false". Such as "1" or "0". Whoops.

    Err.., wouldn't that line of code set physicalDelivers to false unless it the string matches "true" ?

    I'm not so sure that's even a real code snippet. "toLower()" implies Java, but "bool" is not a Java data type. The whole story is, at best, embellished; or even worse, fabricated.

  • Yardik (unregistered) in reply to Peter
    bool physicallyDeliver = (getNodeVal("PhysicallyDeliver").toLower() == "true"); Kudos to the developer for verifying the correct case... but, a string can be infinitely more things than simply "true" or "false". Such as "1" or "0". Whoops.

    Err.., wouldn't that line of code set physicalDelivers to false unless it the string matches "true" ?

    Yes.. That is the point. Since it returned 1 (should be true) and the code converted that to boolean false. Hence the confirmation looked valid, even if they double check to see that delivery is false.

  • Barry Kline (unregistered) in reply to Aaron Priven

    Nice!

  • NH (unregistered)

    This sure beats another interesting order - someone did order toilet paper - about 10 rolls.

    (Un)fortunately they did end up with 10 pallets.

  • RogerInHawaii (cs)

    The article says, "The whole point of all this trading is to shift the risk (and rewards) of fluctuating commodity prices from the producers (farmers, miners, etc) to the traders."

    That may be the rationalization for it, but I don't believe it for a moment. These traders are constantly looking for yet another way to suck money off of legitimate, actual transactions. It's despicable and should be illegal.

  • BG (unregistered)

    This reminds me of a story that orrured at an unnamed company. The company had a contest in which the winner would receive any product that the company produced valued at up to $500. The winner selected the Access Developer's Toolkit. When the contest organizer put in the request he wrote up to 500. The warehouse at the time did not have 500 copied in stock so they sent the order to the factory which a few month later delivered a truckload of software valued at $250,000 to the winner

  • Aaron (cs) in reply to too_many_usernames
    too_many_usernames:
    You're actually highlighting my point, especially with homeowner's insurance. One of the reasons mortgages can be as high as they are now, I'd argue, is because homeowner's insurance exists (there are other reasons as well, such as treating a house as an investment instead of as a home). Otherwise nobody would be able to afford the current mortgages so they would have to drop. (Same type of thing with car and health insurance in my opinion.)

    I'm also not sure I understand what futures have to do with making an initial investment or deferring risk. Considering that crops have their own insurance anyway, I don't think I agree that futures are the risk management device you are claiming. A futures contract doesn't pay a farmer anything if the crop fails for instance.

    Are you really this thoroughly retarded or just trolling? Without futures and derivatives we would have insane price volatility in every area of the market. You could end up paying $26 for a bag of oranges today, $2 next month, and not be able to find them at all come February. You'd basically have to become an independent commodities trader just to keep your own finances in check.

    What you seem to be advocating is a throwback to the barter system because the value of any commodity is practically zero without the ability to hedge (that's why it's called a "commodity").

    Even before we had standardized futures contracts, manufacturers and distributors had private contracts that were very similar. Every volume discount works like this; the purchaser commits to buying a certain number of units, but almost never pays all at once or takes delivery all at once. This type of contract is almost as old as currency itself.

    What I'm guessing that you really have a problem with is that it's possible to monetize the contract itself and create a derivative (option) or derivative fund (ETF/ETN). But even that position betrays a severe ignorance of economics; the derivative really does have an intrinsic value because the person who sold the option or note still assumes the risk of delivery. Thus if the contract expires you've only lost the risk premium, not the cost of unloading 28,000 tons of coal.

    If we didn't have these monetary instruments, the world economy would all but collapse. Please do your homework before spouting nonsense.

  • RogerInHawaii (cs) in reply to Doozer
    Doozer:
    Although Henderson's does make Spam taste delicious.......

    As someone who lives in Hawaii, the Spam consumption capitol of the world, I can tell you that Spam tastes delicious even without the Henderson's.

  • RogerInHawaii (cs) in reply to soft-
    soft-:
    too_many_usernames:
    How on earth has nobody yet mentioned that TRWTF is futures trading?

    Whoever thought of that scam deserves some kind of prize for convincing people that it's not a scam.

    hardly a scam if it allows food producers to be able to afford to produce food...

    Food producers sell food to consumers. The consumers pay enough for the food to make it so that the producers can produce it.

    So, where is the need for the commodities traders? Looks to me like commodities traders simply add another level of cost to the production of the food.

    If the commodity PRODUCER needs to accommodate the variations in the market, that's what insurance is for.

  • Jill (unregistered) in reply to Aaron
    Aaron:
    too_many_usernames:
    You're actually highlighting my point, especially with homeowner's insurance. One of the reasons mortgages can be as high as they are now, I'd argue, is because homeowner's insurance exists (there are other reasons as well, such as treating a house as an investment instead of as a home). Otherwise nobody would be able to afford the current mortgages so they would have to drop. (Same type of thing with car and health insurance in my opinion.)

    I'm also not sure I understand what futures have to do with making an initial investment or deferring risk. Considering that crops have their own insurance anyway, I don't think I agree that futures are the risk management device you are claiming. A futures contract doesn't pay a farmer anything if the crop fails for instance.

    Are you really this thoroughly retarded or just trolling? Without futures and derivatives we would have insane price volatility in every area of the market. You could end up paying $26 for a bag of oranges today, $2 next month, and not be able to find them at all come February. You'd basically have to become an independent commodities trader just to keep your own finances in check.

    What you seem to be advocating is a throwback to the barter system because the value of any commodity is practically zero without the ability to hedge (that's why it's called a "commodity").

    Even before we had standardized futures contracts, manufacturers and distributors had private contracts that were very similar. Every volume discount works like this; the purchaser commits to buying a certain number of units, but almost never pays all at once or takes delivery all at once. This type of contract is almost as old as currency itself.

    What I'm guessing that you really have a problem with is that it's possible to monetize the contract itself and create a derivative (option) or derivative fund (ETF/ETN). But even that position betrays a severe ignorance of economics; the derivative really does have an intrinsic value because the person who sold the option or note still assumes the risk of delivery. Thus if the contract expires you've only lost the risk premium, not the cost of unloading 28,000 tons of coal.

    If we didn't have these monetary instruments, the world economy would all but collapse. Please do your homework before spouting nonsense.

    You're right!!! And so were the other 5 people who replied to him before with much the same explanation!!

  • Ben (unregistered) in reply to Rick

    [quote user="Rick"][quote user="zahlman"]XML is NOT a WTF, XML without an adequate validating schema is. [/quote]

    Ah, an "adequate" schema. So XML is fine, it's just that all the users are idiots. Except you, of course.

  • cf (unregistered)

    I'm sorry, but this just sounds bogus.

  • RogerInHawaii (cs) in reply to wingcommander

    Yes! It was "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis". Also known as "The Dobie Gillis Show". The character Maynard G. Krebs (played by Bob Denver, who went on to true fame as the title character in Gilligan's Island) bought thousands of cases of eggs that ended up getting delivered to Dobie's father's store. Not sure if it was futures trading, but he didn't think he was actually buying the eggs themselves.

  • RogerInHawaii (cs) in reply to wingcommander
    wingcommander:
    I seem to remember a TV show with this premise...situation comedy from the fifties...same idea...guy wants to make a bundle in commodities and ends up taking delivery of pork bellies or such....

    Yes! It was "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis". Also known as "The Dobie Gillis Show". The character Maynard G. Krebs (played by Bob Denver, who went on to true fame as the title character in Gilligan's Island) bought thousands of cases of eggs that ended up getting delivered to Dobie's father's store. Not sure if it was futures trading, but he didn't think he was actually buying the eggs themselves.

  • Sean (unregistered) in reply to RogerInHawaii
    RogerInHawaii:
    soft-:
    too_many_usernames:
    How on earth has nobody yet mentioned that TRWTF is futures trading?

    Whoever thought of that scam deserves some kind of prize for convincing people that it's not a scam.

    hardly a scam if it allows food producers to be able to afford to produce food...

    Food producers sell food to consumers. The consumers pay enough for the food to make it so that the producers can produce it.

    So, where is the need for the commodities traders? Looks to me like commodities traders simply add another level of cost to the production of the food.

    If the commodity PRODUCER needs to accommodate the variations in the market, that's what insurance is for.

    This has been explained at length in several other posts. If you still can't comprehend the reasoning, try taking an economics course.

  • Mason Wheeler (cs) in reply to too_many_usernames
    too_many_usernames:
    You're actually highlighting my point, especially with homeowner's insurance. One of the reasons mortgages can be as high as they are now, I'd argue, is because homeowner's insurance exists (there are other reasons as well, such as treating a house as an investment instead of as a home). Otherwise nobody would be able to afford the current mortgages so they would have to drop.

    Oh boy. Don't even get me started on the WTF-fest that is the mortgage market. A 30-year mortgage makes no sense whatsoever, since almost everyone who can afford one (who can actually afford a standard 30-year mortgage, reasonably secure in the knowledge that they can actually pay it off) can afford a 10 or even a 5 year mortgage by paying just a tiny fraction more per house payment. This may sound counterintuitive, until you realize that with 30 years of compound interest tacked on, you end up paying for the house several times over.

    And homeowner's insurance may contribute to the high price of houses, but the current incentive system bears much more responsibility. When someone sells a house, there's at least two real estate agents (the buyer's and the seller's) and a loan officer from the bank involved, all of whom immediately receive a commission as a percentage of the size of the sale price. Their incentive, then, is to make sure the house sells for as high of a price as it can. If the person can't pay and end up defaulting, the agents don't care. They already got their commission. Heck, if that happens, they might end up being able to sell it again.

    The way to fix it is obvious, but it'll never happen because all the agents will cry bloody murder and lobby to get the necessary legislation shot down. But if we ever actually did want to keep another destructive housing-bubble situation from happening, it would be as simple as making it a federal offense to receive a commission payment on any transaction before it has been paid in full by the buyer.

    Restructure the incentives, and suddenly all the agents want to get people loans they can actually afford, and can afford to pay off quickly. Everyone wins, except the crooks.

  • Cool guy (unregistered)

    More evidence confirming my theory that everyone named Brad is an arrogant douche-bag.

  • JohnB (unregistered) in reply to Aaron
    Aaron:
    too_many_usernames:
    You're actually highlighting my point, ... if the crop fails for instance.
    Are you really this thoroughly retarded or just trolling?

    If we didn't have these monetary instruments, the world economy would all but collapse. Please do your homework before spouting nonsense.

    Hi, Brad.

  • Keith Brawner (unregistered)

    Mason Wheeler: You are kidding, right? Or are you seriously implying that you not pay someone for a service that they perform. I am not involved in real estate, aside from having a home, and thus have no particular side to represent. If you doubt, please see the Nine-Puzzle problem solutions I've posted.

    There is nothing stopping the consumer from going to a home builder and purchasing a house. Indeed, many people do this. There is nothing to stop a seller from finding a buyer without an agent. Indeed, many people do this, or do you not notice the 'For Sale By Owner' signs? There is nothing to stop a buyer from finding a seller who is not using a real estate agent. Indeed, many people, including myself, do this.

  • Mason Wheeler (cs) in reply to Keith Brawner
    Keith Brawner:
    Mason Wheeler: You are kidding, right? Or are you seriously implying that you not pay someone for a service that they perform.

    No, not at all. What I'm implying is that the service hasn't truly been performed until the resident, not the bank, owns the home, and that pretending otherwise is criminally negligent and directly responsible for last year's housing crash.

    If salesmen and loan agents want to make money for their work, let them make money for their work the same way the rest of us do: on a set rate for their time. Change commissions from "primary source of income" to "bonus for a job well-done" and you'll see a lot more well-done jobs.

    And even if one or both of the real-estate agents is cut out of the picture, there's still a loan agent involved on the bank's side. How often do you hear of someone paying cash for a house?

  • Keith (unregistered)

    Four months early for April fools.

    The "WTFSE", what's that? The WTF Stock Exchange?

    To continue the "101": Futures for physcial delivery have defined points where the delivery is made to, e.g. for NYMEX WTI, physical delivery is to the oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.

  • emurphy (cs) in reply to Patrick
    Patrick:
    I accidentally 28,000 tons of coal, what should I do?

    Bahahaha. Shamelessly stolen, good sir.

  • A. Cube (unregistered) in reply to RogerInHawaii
    That may be the rationalization for it, but I don't believe it for a moment. These traders are constantly looking for yet another way to suck money off of legitimate, actual transactions. It's despicable and should be illegal.

    Why? Sure, everyone involved is looking for a quick buck. That's what people do. If there is value added, then why should the government step in and stop it? If there is not, then one party or another will stop selling and the market will crumble anyway.

    If you don't like them, don't buy or sell futures contracts. Why does that mean that no one else should?

  • WhiskeyJack (cs) in reply to Mason Wheeler
    Mason Wheeler:
    Oh boy. Don't even get me started on the WTF-fest that is the mortgage market. A 30-year mortgage makes no sense whatsoever, since almost everyone who can afford one (who can actually afford a standard 30-year mortgage, reasonably secure in the knowledge that they can actually pay it off) can afford a 10 or even a 5 year mortgage by paying just a tiny fraction more per house payment. This may sound counterintuitive, until you realize that with 30 years of compound interest tacked on, you end up paying for the house several times over.

    If by "tiny fraction more" you mean "twice as much", sure.

    Using mortgagecalculator.org, $200,000 mortgage, 5% interest over 30 years: monthly payment is $1,073.

    Over 10 years: monthly payment is $2,121.

  • Mason Wheeler (cs) in reply to WhiskeyJack
    WhiskeyJack:
    If by "tiny fraction more" you mean "twice as much", sure.

    Using mortgagecalculator.org, $200,000 mortgage, 5% interest over 30 years: monthly payment is $1,073.

    Over 10 years: monthly payment is $2,121.

    Maybe prices are different where you live, but here in the Seattle area, at least, any house you can find for only $200K is either too small or too poor-quality to want to raise a family in.

    Addendum (2009-12-01 16:49): Also, I don't know exactly how mortgagecalculator.org calculates its mortgages. What I do know is personal experience: how my family did it. We bought a house when I was in high school. Every month, when she paid the bills, my mom would send in an extra $20 on the mortgage. Just $20 extra. At the end of the first year, we were more than four years into the 30-year schedule.

    Yes, diminishing returns kick in as time goes on and the principal-to-interest ratio rises, but here we are, 11 years later, with it almost completely paid off. (IIRC there's two standard-schedule years left.) It could be done by now with a little more extra at the start, but things were really tight for us back then and that $20 was literally all we could afford.

  • ounos (cs)

    I knew that, after so many days of poor or no content, something good must be brewing. But this...wow...just wow..!

  • Damien (unregistered) in reply to Yardik
    Yardik:
    bool physicallyDeliver = (getNodeVal("PhysicallyDeliver").toLower() == "true"); Kudos to the developer for verifying the correct case... but, a string can be infinitely more things than simply "true" or "false". Such as "1" or "0". Whoops.

    Err.., wouldn't that line of code set physicalDelivers to false unless it the string matches "true" ?

    Yes.. That is the point. Since it returned 1 (should be true) and the code converted that to boolean false. Hence the confirmation looked valid, even if they double check to see that delivery is false.

    That doesn't make any sense. If the string was "False", toLower() would've converted it to "false", which is not equal to "true". Therefore, a boolean value of false will have been returned. So this should have been a safe check, unless the '==' operator returns 0 to represent equality, ala strcmp(3).

  • spamspamspamspamspamspamspam (unregistered) in reply to RogerInHawaii
    RogerInHawaii:
    I can tell you that Spam tastes delicious even without the Henderson's.

    the only way to make spam delicious is to dip it in batter and deep fry it. then serve it with greasy chips and a can of special brew, and top it off with a battered mars bar and a heart attack

    if you don't understand this, book a flight to glasgow (one way; you won't make it back)

  • Zylon (cs)

    I would have enjoyed this one a lot more if I hadn't spent the entire article wondering how the smeg you're supposed to pronounce "Æxecor".

  • Corey (unregistered) in reply to stirFry

    The developer was obviously using an extension method to wrap string.ToLower().

    Sheesh, learn to speak .NET why don't you...

  • Ollie Jones (unregistered)

    I once had a gig doing telecom drivers for a company that ran a natural gas pipeline: one of these high pressure things that runs for thousands of miles under farmland and has little orange candy canes sticking up every so often.

    We were improving the microwave alarm system, trying to reduce its latency. We sent and received little 20-byte packets that said stuff like "pumping station 237, low pressure in compressor" and stuff like that.

    We were working in a lab next to a control room, where two guys kept an eagle eye on all kinds of gauges and video screens. They mostly sat there watching, but sometimes picked up a phone and talked to somebody.

    We were ready to system-test our change one day. The person I worked with (an employee, not a lowly contractor) decided to feed some test alarms into the system. One of the ones she fed in was "pumping station 1, fire in pump intake." (station 1, code 1)

    The horns went off. The control panel lights turned red. In a split-second the two guys were each talking on two phones each. By the time my co-worker got in there to tell them it was just a test, several fire companies had been deployed and two helicopters were in the air. It seems that fires in gas pipeline pumping stations usually involve half-mile-wide fireballs and general mayhem. Who knew?

  • too_many_usernames (cs) in reply to Aaron
    Aaron:
    ... Without futures and derivatives we would have insane price volatility in every area of the market. You could end up paying $26 for a bag of oranges today, $2 next month, and not be able to find them at all come February. You'd basically have to become an independent commodities trader just to keep your own finances in check.

    ...

    Even before we had standardized futures contracts, manufacturers and distributors had private contracts that were very similar. Every volume discount works like this; the purchaser commits to buying a certain number of units, but almost never pays all at once or takes delivery all at once. This type of contract is almost as old as currency itself.

    What I'm guessing that you really have a problem with is...

    If we didn't have these monetary instruments, the world economy would all but collapse. Please do your homework before spouting nonsense.

    Considering that some very cursory research shows that there wasn't such a thing as a futures market until about 1880 (I expected it to be older than that to be honest) I think claims that the futures market keeps the economy from collapsing are a bit exaggerated. Also, I don't agree that the futures market keeps prices from changing: notably, petroleum-related products seem to have their prices change daily from time to time. I'll admit that price swings could be worse without it, but I'd need more evidence than for which I'm willing to switch at the moment.

    Another important distinction I'd like to make is that I don't have a problem with futures contracts - I have a problem with trading futures contracts, because they add middlemen and turn them into monetary vehicles instead of contracts for goods and services between people that make and use those products. This is the same issue I have with treating houses as investment vehicles instead of, well, houses. And I think we're all fairly familiar with what happened because of that particular situation.

    So while I may be guilty of not clearly stating my opinions, I'm fairly certain I indicate when they are opinions as opposed to facts. I'm here for discussion and, hopefully, learn things as well - and I'm open to correction with sufficient facts.

  • Wizard Stan (unregistered) in reply to Damien
    Damien:
    Yardik:
    bool physicallyDeliver = (getNodeVal("PhysicallyDeliver").toLower() == "true"); Kudos to the developer for verifying the correct case... but, a string can be infinitely more things than simply "true" or "false". Such as "1" or "0". Whoops.

    Err.., wouldn't that line of code set physicalDelivers to false unless it the string matches "true" ?

    Yes.. That is the point. Since it returned 1 (should be true) and the code converted that to boolean false. Hence the confirmation looked valid, even if they double check to see that delivery is false.

    That doesn't make any sense. If the string was "False", toLower() would've converted it to "false", which is not equal to "true". Therefore, a boolean value of false will have been returned. So this should have been a safe check, unless the '==' operator returns 0 to represent equality, ala strcmp(3).

    The string wasn't "False", the string was "1". "1" means true, meaning they were set to physical delivery. But since "1" does not equal "true", this function returned false: ie, this code believed they received false (when they had in fact received true (in the form of "1")) which matched the "false" string that they sent, so assumed everything was good.

  • hmmmm (unregistered) in reply to Ollie Jones

    Reading between the lines, I rekcon what happend was a cash commodity purchase was put out, not a future contract at all.

    I've worked previosuly with some arcane (and quite simply insane) exchange API's and the difference between a future contract and a cash commodity purchase is very little.

    Someone mentioned that this particular company had automated delivery systems so it makes sense that if the trader broke all the checks, threw a tantrum and said "f'ing execute it now", the back office would have executed an actual physical purchase of the goods, passed all the information to the shipping company, the shipping / transportation contract put in place the goods were picked up and delivered.

    There was obviosuly a major back office failing.

    I've heard of similar things before, but normally the delivery address is a warning that something is wrong (really you want 10,000 sheep in central Manhatten?), or the trader creates a cash commodity purchase but this is often picked up by back-office checks.

    As the story pointed out this was in an old industrial warehouse district with it's own wharf. Logicaly, a place a shipping company would deliver to if they had been instructed to do so, also as someone mentioned this company deals with actual commodity purchases and not just an investment bank.

  • ajd4096 (unregistered) in reply to Central Harlem Anonymous
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  • A Gould (unregistered) in reply to Damien

    [quote user="Damien"][quote user="Yardik"][quote] bool physicallyDeliver = (getNodeVal("PhysicallyDeliver").toLower() == "true");

    That doesn't make any sense. If the string was "False", toLower() would've converted it to "false", which is not equal to "true". Therefore, a boolean value of false will have been returned. So this should have been a safe check, unless the '==' operator returns 0 to represent equality, ala strcmp(3).[/quote]

    Nope - because then it would set physicallyDeliver to "false", even though the input was 1 (for "true").

  • Nick (unregistered) in reply to Peter

    Yes, but I think that's the point: This was on the AExcor end of the check: so WTFSE had determined to deliver physically while AExcor didn't know this because they thought it was not to be delivered physically.

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