NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It was an interview with Dick Grasso, the former chairman and chief executive officer of the New York Stock Exchange, on CNBC that brought into focus the extent to which the advances in globalization and technology have eroded the iconic status of the NYSE ( NYX) since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.On Monday morning, the financial media were spending ample time ahead of the opening bell debriefing in the wake of Hurricane Irene. A natural question for Grasso was how trading could have continued had Irene managed to slam into New York City at full force. The answer? Thanks to advances in technology and moving key systems and backup systems outside the city, the NYSE could have quickly and easily gone fully electronic. "Lower Manhattan as a processing site is no longer key for the operations of the exchange," said Grasso. That was both reassuring and somewhat disconcerting for those watching and the panel of "Squawk Box" anchors.