Moore's Law vs. Murphy's Law in the Financial System: Who's Winning?

34 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2016

See all articles by Andrew W. Lo

Andrew W. Lo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; Santa Fe Institute

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Date Written: January 22, 2016


Breakthroughs in computing hardware, software, telecommunications, and data analytics have transformed the financial industry, enabling a host of new products and services such as automated trading algorithms, crypto-currencies, mobile banking, crowdfunding, and robo-advisors. However, the unintended consequences of technology-leveraged finance include firesales, flash crashes, botched initial public offerings, cybersecurity breaches, catastrophic algorithmic trading errors, and a technological arms race that has created new winners, losers, and systemic risk in the financial ecosystem. These challenges are an unavoidable aspect of the growing importance of finance in an increasingly digital society. Rather than fighting this trend or forswearing technology, the ultimate solution is to develop more robust technology capable of adapting to the foibles in human behavior so users can employ these tools safely, effectively, and effortlessly. Examples of such technology are provided.

Keywords: Financial Technology, Systemic Risk, Macroprudential Policy, Risk Management

JEL Classification: E44, E63, G28, O33

Suggested Citation

Lo, Andrew W., Moore's Law vs. Murphy's Law in the Financial System: Who's Winning? (January 22, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Andrew W. Lo (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

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Santa Fe Institute

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