The nut is that a fund linked to Nassim Taleb -- Mr. Black Swan -- may have placed the initial trades that got the ball rolling for Thursday's violent selling.
On any other day, this $7.5 million trade for 50,000 options contracts might have briefly hurt stock prices, though not caused much of a ripple. But coming on a day when all varieties of financial markets were deeply unsettled, the trade may have played a key role in the stock-market collapse just 20 minutes later.
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