Bloomberg’s financial terminal, a popular software platform used by investors to trade stocks, exchange messages and gather news on companies, crashed early this morning and the global financial sector came to a momentary halt.
Traders pay upwards of $20,000 a year for access to the service, which serves as their eyes and ears into financial markets around the world. Bloomberg blamed the two-hour outage on internal network issues and faulty hardware. After reboot, the system was back online.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched the terminal as the backbone of his media empire in 1981. A news wire, messaging service and instant trading platform were added to the initial terminal service and the portal eventually became indispensable for more than 300,000 investors.
“The terminal is a tool, but it is also a kind of utility. It would be similar to the lights going out in your house because of the storm. Suddenly, you don’t perish, but you’re using candles,” Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute told the NewsHour in an interview.
— James Titcomb (@jamestitcomb) April 17, 2015
The crash was good news for Bloomberg’s competitors in the market, especially rival Thomson Reuters, said Rosenstiel. Bloomberg overtook Reuters as the world’s largest financial information provider and its terminal brought in more than $9 billion in revenue in 2014, according to Fortune.com. With Bloomberg subscribers left to fend for themselves on the phone and online, investors subscribing to the Reuters terminal enjoyed a brief advantage.
Unsure of how to function without the terminal, paralyzed investors took to twitter to contemplate the rare down time the crash provided for busy investors.
City friends who've not replied to me for years are suddenly responding. #bloombergdown
— Sean Farrington (@seanfarrington) April 17, 2015
Millions of traders are looking out the window for the first time in years. #BloombergDown
— Lou Whiteman (@louwhiteman) April 17, 2015
Some saw the impact of the crash as a sign that markets are far too reliant on the platform.
If markets move, but there is no Bloomberg Machine operational to report it, does it make a sound?
— John Ashbourne (@JohnAshbourne) April 17, 2015