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Robots lose $20 million on Facebook IPO

May 25, 2012: 3:38 PM ET

Citigroup's Automated Trading Desk had trading loses of $20 million on Facebook's (FB) initial public offering, according to Reuters.

ATD, which Citi (C) bought in 2007, is a firm that deals in computer-driven, high frequency trading. It doesn't make robot traders ... yet.

"We taught computers to trade like humans, at unprecedented speeds, with no coffee breaks," ATD said on its website.

Despite their speed and superior work ethic, these computers were not smart enough to avoid being caught up in the IPO that some are now calling FaceBomb.

To be fair to the robots, some humanoid trading firms also took a bath on the social network's ill-fated debut as a public company. Knight Capital and Citadel Securities both reported losses of $30 million to $35 million.

Nasdaq (NDAQ) has asked investors to provide estimates of their losses by Monday, the Reuters report said. The exchange has borne much of the blame for the technical glitches that plagued Facebook's offering, which took place exactly one week ago.

Sources told Reuters that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority will review the estimates and issue a report in about four weeks.

ATD could not immediately be reached for comment. The phone number for its director of public relations could not be competed "due to network difficulties."A spokesman for Citi said the bank had no comment.

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