Confidence is vital to the success of a financial centre. ‘My word is my bond’ was never a water-tight basis for financial trading, but it went a long way towards establishing the reputation of the world’s major centres. So is technology just a building block or is it a new foundation? Are the world’s leading bourses entrenching their superiority by adopting electronic trading systems, or are they reacting to a fear that with modern information technology and the Internet, who needs a physical stock exchange? And who needs the intermediary brokerages or their commissions? Is the technology making the whole process more transparent for the medium and small trader? Is it making the job of the securities exchange regulators easier to monitor unusual share and stock price movements and trace the history of transactions, or is it opening new opportunities for rigging markets? Does computerized stock rading lead to more efficient markets, or to over-shooting and destabilization?