Turbulence looks at how the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), fared before, during and after Hurricane Sandy. Our initial assumption was that the financial services industry in downtown Manhattan was very well prepared for the storm as compared with other sectors of the economy. We set out to answer two questions:
- What would the consequences be to the broader economy if financial services weren’t well prepared?
- Given this level of preparedness, what lessons could be learnt?
We quickly began to realise that the NYSE was not as well prepared as we initially assumed. As a result of business choices made years before the hurricane, the NYSE was forced to halt trading for two days during the storm, leading to a domino effect of other stock exchanges unnecessarily closing.