Monday, September 10, 2012

Resurrecting the Street

I read a gripping book on the weekend - Resurrecting the Street - Overcoming the Greatest Operational Crisis in History by Jeff Ingber.  It is the story of what happened to the bond and stock markets during Sept 11.  Even this many years later, it is difficult to read about.  9/11 is one of those days in history that I remember clearly where I was (my EMJ office) and what I was doing (a marketing plan).

Ingber is a Wall Street veteran who lived through the crisis first hand.  He was a mile away when the planes hit.

It starts with personal experiences of the massive tragedy.  The stories were horrific. 

The people and firms responsible for trading in the markets were hugely impacted.  Many of the key people and computers were killed in the Twin Towers.  The people left had to deal with the fear and grief of the situation and at the same time, try to rebuild.  Their ability to focus and put aside feelings to make things work is incredible.

I had not thought much about the actual workings of the markets but when you think about it, it is understandable that there would be lots of reconciliation to do.  Transactions needed to be matched, funds transferred, securities exchanged etc.  Without computers and many of the key firms crippled, the task was monumental.

Since 9/11, the financial world has spread out.  There has also been much more thought put into backup and disaster recovery.  Of course my hope would be for peace so that redundancy is never needed.

Resurrecting the Street combines the morbidly gripping tales of live people with the technical story of how things were handled.  Great book.


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