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CEP opportunity in Wall Street bust?

Within every disaster there is the obvious downside, but also an unexpected opportunity. For example, in 1906, my grandfather was an unemployed carpenter in Los Angeles. Then the San Francisco fire and earthquake happened. Seeing an opportunity, he moved up north where his skills were suddenly in great demand.

Fast forward to today and the crisis on Wall Street and the plans in Washington to both rescue and better regulate the financial industry. Complex event processing (CEP) has had a lot of initial success in programs for automated stock trading where price and other events trigger buys and sells. But that was in the boom time and now we are in the bust. Wall Street is doing trades at very low volumes.

So does CEP still have a future on Wall Street?

John Bates, whose research at Cambridge University in the U.K. helped pioneer the event-driven technology, told SOA Talk this week that he sees opportunities for CEP in the new era of financial regulation.

CEP is already being used in banking to detect fraud by scanning transactions for events that indicate nefarious activities, noted Bates, who is now vice president of Apama Products, which develops CEP technology for Progress Software.

CEP can also be used for real-time market surveillance to monitor events that might indicate market manipulation and other forbidden practices, he said.

So if CEP is not already on the radar at the U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Security and Exchange Commission, it may be soon.

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