What happened next seems to be a case study in unintended consequences. The traders on the main exchange were suddenly slowed down by a so-called "circuit breaker" rule, which was put in place after the crash of 1987 to arrest computer-driven stock plunges. (Kids, for more on the crash of '87, see Wikipedia). The circuit breaker rules worked perfectly--where they applied. Unfortunately, the computer traders had long since left the field, and they continued to trade at the speed of light using other, less regulated markets. Libertarians will no doubt use this example as an argument for less regulation. Their "regulation is futile" line of reasoning is actually their best case. The alternative, of course, is for governments across the world to "man up," as the saying goes, and bring the twerpy little hedge funders to heel. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, "If I had to choose between hedge funds without government, and government without hedge funds, I would not hesitate to choose the latter."