Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Calamity of LSE's latest outage

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The Independent Online

For Clara Furse, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, yesterday's catastrophic failure could hardly have come at a worse moment. With dealers anticipating a frantic day of trading post the American bail-outs, it is perhaps just as well that there are now a number of alternative ways of buying and selling shares. To force your custom-ers into trying out the alternatives by having the entire system go down is just what you don't want at a time of growing competition.

These days, stock exchanges are nothing but IT systems. Reliability of the technology is of the essence. With exquisite timing, Ms Furse had a letter published in the FT yester-day saying that "the emergence of new trading platforms should test the attractiveness of our services, but we do not view this with trepidation". No need for trepidation when there are no services to offer.