7. Poster Child

Accenture subsequently became the poster child for the unnerving market event, if you can imagine a corporation that specializes in consulting being able to exert a pull on your heartstrings. CFO Pamela J. Craig did, in fact, elicit pity when she testified in August of that year before a joint Commodities Futures Trading Commission-Securities and Exchange Commission (CFTC-SEC) panel of experts that was engaged in a protracted Flash Crash autopsy. She showed that although the event might have been short lived, its fiscal effects were not. The Flash Crash had damaged the pensions and incentive plans of Accenture’s employees worldwide.

Craig was the ideal witness. The middle-aged, slight executive appeared nervous and vulnerable, ...

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