PALM DESERT, Calif. — Shortly after the chief systemic risk officer of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation warned attendees at a securities operations conference Wednesday here that Greece's crisis was a systemic problem, the Dow plunged 1,000 points.

The panic-like drop was spurred by concerns about Europe's ability to bail out Greece — and accelerated by heavy doses of automated trading that caused many stocks to enter near-freefall conditions.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.