Bylined Articles

Jul 12, 2004 • Bylined Articles

Escaping the Parallel Universe of Paper Certificates

Jill M. Considine, DTCC Chairman and CEO

Summary

You may think that parallel universes are nothing but science fiction. But we know better in the securities industry. We work in parallel universes all the time.

In one universe, we’re in a world of high technology with paperless trading and straight-through processing. In this universe, securities are dematerialized. They can be issued, traded, registered, cataloged and stored quickly and electronically. Because they consist of bits and bytes in bookentry form, they're nearly impossible to steal or destroy. And they can be delivered halfway round the world in seconds.

In the other universe, we’re somewhere back in the 19th century. In this time warp, securities consist of engraved paper certificates that have to be manually issued, registered, shipped, insured and filed. Although many of these certificates are stored in vaults for safekeeping, some 1.7 million of them are still lost, counterfeit or stolen every year. And it can take as long as a week to trans- port them safely overseas


Download the Congressional Testimony: Escaping the Parallel Universe of Paper Certificates

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