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Flash Crash & Systemic risk interview: Bob Fuller, non-executive director of Fixnetix

Published in Automated Trader Magazine Issue 18 Q3 2010

The so-called ‘flash crash’ on 6 May 2010 briefly wiped $1 trillion off US market capitalisation, and caused no shortage of heated debate and finger pointing.  Bob Giffords, independent banking and technology analyst, talks to Bob Fuller of Fixnetix.


Bob Fuller, non-executive director of Fixnetix

While most of us are focused on unraveling the past to learn its lessons, Bob Fuller is looking to find the next pothole we are likely to stumble over. He doesn't need to look further than the mad pace of change targeted by our political masters and their financial regulators, which he describes as 'absolutely unreal'. He points to the market structural implications of all this change -- which have already begun -- and the likelihood of inconsistency, gaps and contradictions, concluding that many bankers may simply postpone decisions until the dust clears. As President Obama signs the Wall Street Reform Act into law, twelve months of regulatory rule making now begin, so there is still everything to play for or pray for. Meanwhile Europe debates its own response with rather different ideas, but equal if not greater ambition.

Bob Fuller sympathises with financial technology managers trying to set priorities and budgets in such an uncertain world where everything impacts on everything else. In the end he sees inevitable pressures promoting industry collaboration and outsourcing solutions and some hard decisions over what is 'business critical' versus 'business differentiating'. We certainly live in interesting times.