International Symposium on the U.S. Financial Services Sector Pandemic Flu Exercise: Keynote Speech of John E. Lange, January 29, 2008   [open pdf - 29KB]

From the speech of John E. Lange: "This is the first opportunity I have had to address an audience made up primarily of financial-sector officials and representatives of international financial organizations. As you know, while a pandemic will not physically damage banks or computer networks, it will threaten the financial system by removing essential personnel from the workplace for weeks, or even months. Even a back-up telecommuting strategy that relies on residential Internet access could be significantly affected in the face of school closures and high absenteeism scenarios and may be unusable for large numbers of telecommuters during the peak of the pandemic. Any strategy to allay the pandemic threat must extend well beyond health and medical boundaries, to include sustaining critical infrastructure, private-sector activities, and the movement of goods and services across the country and the globe, as well as taking into account other economic and related security considerations. And it is, of course, the financial system that makes trade and investment possible by facilitating payments and keeping the markets open for stocks, bonds, and other investment instruments. And to complete a vicious circle, our ability to mitigate the impact of a pandemic and relieve the suffering that results from it will depend to a very large degree on the relative health of the global economy and the financial system that sustains it."

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U.S. Dept. of State: http://www.state.gov/
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