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White House Doesn’t Rule Out Sabotage In Thursday’s Wild Wall Street Plunge

White House Doesn’t Rule Out Sabotage In Thursday’s Wild Wall Street Plunge

CNBC’s Maria Bartiroma does not buy the “fat finger” theory, calls it market manipulation ^

Editor’s note: Sabotage or market manipulation? Maybe al-Qaeda did it.

President Barack Obama has not ruled out sabotage in Thursday afternoon’s Wall Street panic.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama’s economic team was jolted by the news and met Obama shortly after the market plunged.

The president announced a full review Friday, and Gibbs said Obama is waiting to hear the results before ruling out possible causes, including sabotage.

“I wouldn’t rule anything in or rule anything out,” Gibbs told reporters in his West Wing office Friday. “I think that’s, appropriately, why they’re reviewing what may or may not have happened.”

Gibbs said Obama thinks the “the circumstances around this is something that should be watched or should be reviewed and looked at.”

It remains unclear what led markets to dramatically fall Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial average lost nearly 1,000 points before rebounding.

Theories have included a technology problem and a mistaken transaction by a large trader.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Thursday announced a joint investigation of the matter.

When the market began to drop, Lawrence Summers was pulled out of meeting and spent a few minutes making phone calls before talking to the president, Gibbs said.

Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with the president later Thursday afternoon to discuss the incident.

Gibbs said when reporters, who became aware of the drop during his Thursday briefing, began asking him about it, he “thought to myself, well, I’ve only been out here for 30 minutes, what in the world has gone on?”

“You do wonder what happened,” Gibbs said. “And that’s why the president has asked that we look into this and that those that regulate those entities will do so.”



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