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Viability of Current Financial Markets

Question: In February 2003, the GAO published a report entitled "Potential Terrorist Attacks: More Actions Needed to Better Prepare Critical Financial Markets." As the title implies, this report found some deficiencies in the business continuity capabilities of some key players in the financial markets, including stock exchanges, clearing organizations, etc. The report recommended that the SEC chairman take a number of actions to ensure that the financial markets would be better able to withstand potential future attacks. My question is, are the financial markets and stock exchanges any better prepared today than they were in February? Is there any evidence that the recommended improvement actions have been taken? I'm only interested in items published or released since the February 2003 GAO report.

Wendy Reynonds, librarian with the Ontario Securities Commission: The securities regulators learned many lessons from Sept. 11, and have begun to address issues of disaster preparedness. If you go to the SEC Web site, and search "business continuity", you'll find a number of press releases, rule changes and position papers from various branches of the SEC, as well as different self-regulatory organizations (SRO's) like the NASD. I think you'll find that some progress is being made.



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Created: 29 October 2003
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