I recently attended an energy trade and risk management conference in London and had the fortune of seeing first-hand the realities of our interconnected world and its effect on managing risk. The Tunisian and Egyptian governments had just fallen in the face of popular uprisings and Libya seemed to be on the verge of a civil war. Blackberries were buzzing full time all around me as companies wanted to know their exposure to this unexpected risk that was unfolding in North Africa and had the potential to spill over to the Middle East. Compiling this uncertainty, we are now faced with the prospect of a nuclear meltdown at several reactors following the catastrophic earthquake in Japan.
As Gensler and the Democrats continue to face off against the Republicans and Wall Street over the consequences of the Dodd-Frank Act, one thing is clear; corporations will continue to try to mitigate their exposure to risk through greater oversight of the information they handle and process. This is not simply because they had trouble figuring out their real risk exposure during the collapse of the financial markets in 2008, but also due to the greater transparency required in their transactions, and new incentives for whistleblowers to turn them in.