Hurricane Sandy’s impact on U.S. stock and bond markets is just the latest example of inattention to the stability, security and continuity of basic infrastructure. The result of this inattention is a financial market that aspires to be world-class, but in one critical dimension is hopelessly and stubbornly provincial and prone to disasters, small and large. …
The problem here is not episodic. It reflects a pattern of failure in the core functioning of U.S. financial markets. And it suggests a deeper flaw in the management and regulation of these markets.
A simple principle should be adopted: If you want to run a financial market, you have to be resilient in responding to natural and man-made disasters. That requires redundancy in trading operations and staff, and the ability to operate without any single geographical choke point.
Significant members of the market should be required to meet that same standard; smaller members merely would need arrangements in place to have orders processed through a firm that meets the higher standard. In the end, a firm that is not resilient enough to be able to trade after a disaster should not be a member of the market.