NYSE Floor Traders Sign Off On Disaster Plan That Will Eventually Render Them Irrelevant

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Everything will be fine so long as Superstorm Fanny and the second Great Chicago Fire do not happen simultaneously.

The New York Stock Exchange is seeking regulators' approval for a new disaster-recovery plan that would allow the exchange to close while trading in Big Board-listed stocks shifts to an all-electronic platform.

he NYSE proposal, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Monday, would elevate the backup role of NYSE Euronext's all-electronic Arca exchange. Eventually, the exchange group aims to enable the NYSE itself to trade entirely via computer systems, allowing the exchange to do business without its storied trading floor if need be….

In the short term, the new plan would keep the NYSE and its smaller MKT stock exchange closed, with NYSE's all-electronic Arca exchange serving as the backup for both of those markets and performing their functions, according to filings by the exchanges.

Over the long term, NYSE officials plan to fully automate the NYSE and MKT exchanges, allowing floor-based firms and traders to deal shares remotely if a storm or other catastrophe renders NYSE's downtown Manhattan headquarters inoperable or unreachable. The exchange also intends to rely on a new backup data center in Chicago, just south of that city's financial district. The Wall Street Journal reported details of the plans in March.

If such a plan were activated, it would mark the first time in the NYSE's 221-year history that the exchange would rely entirely on computer systems to manage share trading.
The SEC must approve the new plan, which the exchange has vetted with traders over the last few months, according to people involved in the discussions. A spokesman for the SEC declined to comment.

NYSE Readies New Disaster-Recovery Plan [WSJ]

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