Much ado about nothing with Goldman Sachs trading code theft?


The news that the FBI arrested Sergey Aleynikov, a Goldman Sachs (GS) computer programmer, over the July 4 weekend quickly circled the financial world. Aleynikov is suspected of stealing the proprietary coding that drives Goldman's automated trading, with the intent to sell it or pass it along to his new employer -- a start-up hedge fund founded by former Citadel Investment employees.

Plenty of speculation as to whether the computer code leak spells the downfall of Goldman has taken place, except for one important forum -- the stock market. As of Tuesday close, the stock was down just two percent since Friday's close, with the S&P 500 off 1.5 percent in the same time. This hardly implies that market participants with money on the line think the alleged code theft is going to result in serious harm to profits. There are two particular things that make this response, or lack thereof, interesting.