understanding. Information security was a critical consideration. Standardized reporting formats allowed effective monitoring and analysis.

Even before the crisis, the world was changing, said Purcell. Data started moving and becoming available much faster. Business processes underwent significant modifications to respond to a changing economic environment. Previously, most reports were quarterly or annual. In the new environment, analysts needed to examine data on a day-to-day basis while still maintaining information security.

After the crisis, new data needed to be monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis. Large quantities of detailed and aggregate data had to be submitted to new modeling and prediction tools. Improved collaboration and communication were necessary across the agencies while continuing to move quickly. “You can’t collaborate casually anymore; you need to have a thoughtful approach to managing massive information. At the same time, you need to be flexible to capture new information you never thought you’d need to go after, because the public policy response to something that’s happened Thursday needs to be announced before the markets open on Monday, and it needs to be secure.”

Data collection and analysis need support from leadership, Purcell said, and Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Bernanke has been providing this support. In recent testimony, Bernanke said, “we have begun an enhanced quantitative surveillance program for large bank holding companies that will use data analysis and formal modeling to help identify vulnerabilities at both the firm level and for the financial sector as a whole. This analysis will be supported by the collection of more timely, detailed, and consistent data from regulated firms” (Bernanke, 2010).

Analysis and communication also requires trust, said Purcell. Memoranda of understanding can define protocols, but leadership and collaboration are essential for people to keep from getting overwhelmed. People cannot fight fires year after year without eventually burning out, he said, which means that systems and procedures need to be in place to take the pressure off them.


In response to a question about the Paperwork Reduction Act, Purcell noted that the collection of information has changed drastically in recent years. The broad mandate still holds to not add a burden to respondents

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