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A fat-finger error is a slang term for a typing mistake. It is usually a small typo, such as an extra zero, that has out-sized consequences.
A fat-finger error may also be referred to as fat finger syndrome.
The most notorious type of fat finger errors are financial transactions. A trader using a computer terminal to enter orders may mistake the amount of a stock or bond being bought or sold, or may buy or sell the wrong financial asset altogether. If the mistake is large enough or is made by a closely watched financial institution, it can send the wider market into a panic as other participants try to figure out what the trader who made the error knows. In the worst case scenario, it might be that the trader blows up his account.
It is also acceptable to refer to or typing mistakes as fat finger errors, although their consequences are much less severe.
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