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The $105 Billion ‘Ghost Stock' Blunder Rocking Markets in Korea

  • Samsung Securities ‘fat finger’ has had big ripple effect
  • Pension fund drops brokerage; citizens petition for change
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A so-called "fat finger" caused Samsung Securities $105 billion. (Source: Bloomberg)
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It started with a $105 billion blunder, and then it got worse.

Someone at Samsung Securities Co., one of South Korea’s largest brokerages, was trying to pay employees 1,000 won (93 U.S. cents) per share in dividends under a company compensation plan. Somehow, they gave them 1,000 Samsung Securities shares instead. In total, the company distributed 2.83 billion shares, worth -- on paper -- about 112.6 trillion won. That was more than 30 times the company’s market value.