OPINION: Seven Years Later…

Terry Flanagan

Markets Media launched seven years ago today. Happy Birthday to us!

It has been a heckuva ride, to say the least.

A benignly positive market environment was in place in late 2007, on the heels of several years of strong market action. It was good for investors in risk assets, it was good for the firms that handled, hosted or made trades, and it was good for the firms that sold software and technology to traders and investors. So it seemed like a good time to launch a publishing and conference company that focused on all the aforementioned sectors.

But alas, times changed. The global financial crisis welled up in early 2008 and came to a head later that year. The fallout on Wall Street was massive. Government intervention and extraordinarily accommodative monetary policy contained the damage, and easy money from central banks propped up markets, but things aren’t the same.

We’ve seen some watershed moments in financial markets. There was of course the collapse of Lehman Brothers and stress-induced takeovers of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch. More recently, IntercontinentalExchange bought NYSE Euronext, Getco and Knight Capital merged, and Bats took over Direct Edge.

The exchange sector has consolidated and fragmented. Large buy-side institutions have accumulated assets at the expense of smaller competitors. Sell-side banks are constrained by waves of regulation, emanating from both sides of the Atlantic.

And mostly, financial-market firms continue to be vexed by muted trading volumes and low volatility.

So that’s how it’s been. Good but not as good as it can be. Like all other surviving financial-services firms, we’re still in it to win it, looking forward to better days ahead.

Here’s to the next seven years!

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