White House doesn't rule out sabotage in market fluctuation
By Sam Youngman - 05/07/10 03:29 PM ET
President Barack Obama has not ruled out sabotage in the near-panic on Wall Street Thursday afternoon.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama's economic team was jolted by the news and met with Obama shortly after the market plunged.
The president announced Friday morning that a full review is being conducted, and Gibbs said Obama is waiting to hear the results of a review before ruling out what might have caused it, including the possibility of 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.”