At issue might be the way in which automated trading algorithms handle trades, reports Global Macro Monitor. By seeing the spike in media mentions regarding the actress — and current Oscar winner — Anne Hathaway and mistaking it for mentions of company Berkshire Hathaway, the automated systems might be bidding up the price of the company’s stock on irrelevant information.
A few years ago, the trend was first mentioned in The Atlantic. A blogger there, Alex Madrigal, noticed six instances where Berkshire Hathaway’s stock had trended up following Anne Hathaway getting significant media attention. In response to a question from The Atlantic at the time about the correlation, a software developer who sets up automated trading systems could only reply, “maybe.”
No one is saying that there’s a direct correlation between actress Hathaway making the news and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. But it’s possible that the programs don’t know that.