Tom Brakke on What Could Go Wrong Next

I trashed the head of the IMF last night for doing the usual Black Swan Triple Lindy speech.  I grow weary of those who act as though there is any more “uncertainty” now than there has been on any other day in history, those who feel they need to rehash the laundry list of current global problems as though we aren’t all aware.

Today’s must-read comes to us from Tom Brakke at Research Puzzle.  It concerns the recent Epsilon data breach as well as the Nasdaq’s admission of having been hacked.  A lot.  Tom is telling us that, rather than fighting the last war, we should look to what may go wrong next – and network/data security is foremost on his mind.

And so we must ask ourselves, even though we don’t want to, what would happen if . . .?

If there was a disruption in the payments system, in the functioning of the exchanges, in — let’s get down to brass tacks — the informational structure at your own broker?

There are safeguards and contingency plans, but what is a realistic assessment of the probabilities of failure for the systems great and small that form the foundation of investment commerce?  How much due diligence has been done by regulators and institutional players (the same groups we always rely on to do our dirty work) on the systems themselves?  How much planning for outlier events?

Read the rest:

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