Chin up, guys, NYSE boss tells other CEOs
Speaking at his alma mater Goldman Sachs’s Financial Service Conference on Thursday, NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer said he was struck by the gloom and doom that seems to have come over other CEOs.
“I was at a dinner hosted by (Bank of America CEO) Ken Lewis,” he said, of a recent soirée that brought together about a dozen or so unidentified CEOs. “Everyone was pessimistic.”
They were pessimistic about the state of the economy, the stock markets, and just about everything else, he said. The last to speak when Lewis went around the table to gauge guests’ feelings about the economy, Niederauer said he was the only optimistic one.
“I don’t think unemployment is going up to 10-11 percent,” he said, though most of his dinner companions seemed to think so.
“I am optimistic- we have a new president who’s optimistic,” he said. “The market is trading on psychology and it makes no sense.”
Compared to many CEO’s, he indeed has reason to be optimistic. For one, other CEO’s in the financial sector have had to turn down eight-figure bonuses and contend with being public enemy #1. Meanwhile, his exchange created a stir this weekend after apparent discussions with Deutsche Börse about a potential merger sent its stock soaring.
What’s more the market’s volatility has spiked trading volumes of late, and NYSE ‘s floor-trading specialist-based market making system, recently considered obsolete, proved popular during the worst days of the crisis.
But his optimism might be tempered by the expected slowdown in trading volumes next year. And he said he is concerned that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission might overreact to the market troubles and over-regulate the potentially lucrative exchange-traded market for credit default swaps (CDS) NYSE and other leading exchanges are eyeing.