Superconnected, Complex and Ultrafast: Governance of Hyperfunctionality in Financial Markets

Victor Galaz, Jon Pierre


Increased trading with financial instruments, new actors and novel technologies are changing the nature of financial markets making trade faster, more information dense and more globalized than ever. These changes in financial markets are not incremental and linear, but transformative with the emergence of a new “machine-ecology” with intricate system behavior and new forms of systemic financial risks. We argue that the nature of these changes pose fundamentally new challenges to governance as they require policy-makers to respond to system properties characterized by not only complex causality, but also extreme connectivity (i.e. global), ultra-speed (i.e. micro-seconds) and “hyperfunctionality”. Governance can fail at the system level if a subsystem performs its function to such an extreme; this could jeopardize the efficiency of the system as a whole. We elaborate in what ways governance scholars can approach these issues, and explore the types of strategies policy-makers around the world use to address these new financial risks. We conclude by pointing out what we perceive as critical research fronts in this domain.


complexity; financial markets; algorithmic trade; governance; network governance

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Copyright (c) 2017 Victor Galaz, Jon Pierre

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