Skip to main content

Great News: Technology Has Advanced Since 1996

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Back when the business of buying and selling stocks depended on human traders gathering in the same physical location -- the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan, for instance -- a major snow storm could snarl commutes so badly that exchanges had to shut. That’s what happened during the blizzard of January 1996, which took place before computers dominated. Although pilloried by critics for making markets more difficult for humans, the technological revolution -- which shifted most trading to computers housed in data centers in New Jersey and elsewhere -- may have made markets more resilient to the weather. “We’re in Chatham, New Jersey, and we can trade tomorrow,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading LLC. “If they’re open, we’re ready to go. Everybody has backup systems and after things like Hurricane Sandy and some storms of the past couple years, people have really locked down their backup systems and are ready to go.” [Bloomberg]

Related

Layoffs Watch '12: Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley's roadmap to the future involves fewer humans, more machines. In a move to repair its flagging bond-trading business, Morgan Stanley is scrambling to replace some of its well-paid bond traders with computers. The New York company is hiring programmers and technology specialists to help it trade bonds electronically and handle client orders in the hope of exploiting an expected shift in the way bonds and other fixed income products are traded. While the effort represents only a part of what the firm is doing to boost low returns in the business, the shift already has reduced the ranks of interest-rate and foreign-exchange traders on some desks by 10% to 20%. Morgan Stanley's head of interest-rate trading, Glenn Hadden, has told colleagues in recent months and that the trading floor of the future will surround a few traders with the hum of powerful machines. Man vs. Machine At Morgan Stanley (WSJ)