Financial markets have greatly improved over the past quarter-century. Trading costs, whether for small individual investors or large institutional investors, have declined sharply. The cuts going to middlemen are smaller, and many markets are deeper and more liquid than ever.
Reported by FLOYD NORRIS, The New York Times, most of the time.
Unfortunately, the improved markets also are more prone to disaster. The same computerization and increased competition that provided the benefits also weeded out people who had the obligation to step up in times of stress, and virtually eliminated the ability of people and institutions to slow or halt markets when something goes badly wrong.