Sandy shows human element is critical

Nov 05, 2012 | 12:23 PM | Andrea Hotter

Tags  electronic trading, trading platforms, Hurricane Sandy, LME Select, LME, NYSE, INTL FCSTone, Fred Demler Andrea Hotter

NEW YORK — At a time when automation has led many to predict the demise of the trading floor, natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, provide a bracing reminder of the crucial role humans play in the market.

When the New York Stock Exchange was forced to close Monday and Tuesday of last week, it was the first time weather had shuttered the market for two consecutive days since 1888.

But electronic trading markets in the United States were also paralyzed by the hurricane, with the decision taken to close them along with the open outcrypits. And it wasn’t the electronic systems that started up again with skeleton service on Tuesday. It was the staff at the brokerages and banks.

Many had slept in the city overnight, away from the problems of downtown Manhattan, and worked remotely on their telephones. ....

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