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Business

PA wants to be Wall Street's backup but reception is cool

Pennsylvania's proposal to be the post-nuclear Wall Street has not been well received on the other side of the Hudson, reports the New York Times.The idea is to create an alternative Wall Street just in case New York's financial center comes under terrorist attack.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on

Pennsylvania's proposal to be the post-nuclear Wall Street has not been well received on the other side of the Hudson, reports the New York Times.

The idea is to create an alternative Wall Street just in case New York's financial center comes under terrorist attack. The selling points? Pennsylvania is close to Manhattan, but not so close as to be within New York City's theoretical nuclear blast zone. Pennsylvania is also close enough to be linked directly to the computers that run the banking and trading systems.

"We think we're uniquely positioned," said Catherine A. Bolton, project director of the Wall Street West consortium, whose goal is to lure financial companies based in New York to put backup facilities in a nine-county region in northeast Pennsylvania. "There are places in New Jersey, but they're not outside the blast zone."

So, sure of the efficacy of the plan, Gov. Edward G. Rendell has announced plans to build a $24 million network of fiber optic cables to carry data from Manhattan to the Poconos. But the idea has fallen on deaf New York ears. So far, no New York banks, investment banks or insurance companies have committed to building data backup centers in Pennsylvania.

Since the Sept. 11 attack, however, Wall Street has given a lot of thought to developing backup systems and disaster-recovery plans.

"New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are suitable alternatives for Wall Street's backup sites, but most of them are considerably more costly than northeast Pennsylvania. There is a need for large data center space measured in tens of thousands of square feet, and cheap real estate helps, said Raouf Abdel, president of the business markets group at Level 3 in Broomfield, Colo.

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