CFTC to press for response team
Business continuity on Wall Street got a major test when Superstorm Sandy blew through.
In hindsight, there has been some second guessing and finger pointing about back up plans at the main stock exchanges. The fact that the exchanges decided to close, instead of operating in electronic mode during the storm, has gnawed at some. That list includes Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the SEC, and now Bart Chilton, a commissioner at the CFTC.
Chilton has said that in "fair weather and foul, we need to ensure that our financial markets can continue to provide the grease for our country's economic engines."He called for a "a private-public task force that would convene in advance of crises like hurricanes."
He calls it the Financial Market Multi-Agency Command, and it would lead a coordinated response, to "mandate technology testing protocols, spell out guidelines for operating in a crisis and potentially sketch a timetable for recovery efforts."
It's fair to say that the industry will likely develop more detailed plans with an eye toward keeping essential markets open in a crisis, but the issue is whether the banking and financial services industry needs another task force to do this. No matter how it happens, the issue is now on the front-burner. While the industry performed admirably in extremely rough circumstances, there will always be room for review and improvement when it comes to continuity plans.
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