Hurricane Irene is the big news story this week (earthquake, what earthquake?) and big news in the financial capital of the world inevitably turns to questions of cash. To that end, today FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver did some number crunching and hoo boy, this thing could cost a pretty penny! "Apart from the potential loss of life in the most densely populated part of the country, history suggests that the economic damage could run into the tens of billions of dollars, depending on the severity of the storm and how close it comes to the city."

Silver does his usual incredibly researched thing and comes up with a number of potential costs depending on the severity of the storm. Without getting too speculative (but if you want that Silver does go there) it is worth noting that one of the storm's very possible trajectories towards Long Island could still be very, very costly:

A considerably more likely scenario is that a hurricane-strength storm would come ashore on central Long Island. That would still be extremely bad: a weak Category 2 storm with an eye that passed about 50 miles from Manhattan would result in about $10 billion in damage, according to the model.

However, not everyone working with money in town is worried about a little water. The NYSE has vowed to be open for trading come Monday morning, rain or shine: “We intend to be open for trading on Monday,” Richard Adamonis, spokesman for the NYSE Euronext, said. “We have contingency plans in place for such events with the goal of having the market up and running while ensuring the safety of our people.” Good to know!