Ah, yes, the New York Stock Exchange, although it is the epicenter of the commercial universe, looks more like an amusement park or a playground, doesn’t it? Close your eyes and you can imagine him, the agitation, the hustle and bustle, the shopkeepers screaming on the floor, the adult men sweating through suits and buttoned shirts gesturing like a wild pack of children playing football on an open field.
But why, in this modern age, do traders and brokers still behave like an angry mob? Don’t we use computers for most jobs these days anyway? Isn’t this the information age, an era dominated by sterile, instantaneous communication? How did this madness begin? Why does it continue? This article will examine and explain why Wall Street and many other shopping pits resemble a riot after a football game, all the more so as a gathering of big business majors trying to amass a fortune for themselves and their customers.
First, there are a number of trading exchanges and trading pits, from the Chicago-Nikkei bond pits far from Japan, but the world’s most famous trading stock exchange undoubtedly exists at the intersection of Wall Manhattan Street and Broad Street. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has existed since 1792, when the famous Buttonwood agreement was signed by 24 New York brokers and businessmen. Most people think of the Dow-Jones Stock Exchange when they think of the stock market. It is made up of thirty of the largest businesses in the United States, from GE and McDonald’s to Walmart.
The principle is simple; people use brokers to buy shares or percentages of a company’s property (and its profits or losses) in exchange for cash. Money flies and has always flown around the room at a fast and furious pace, as has the action, hence the total understanding. In essence, these shares are “auctioned” to the largest bidder who agrees to a purchase price, so that each broker tries to receive the offer and be accepted before the price of a share rises. This is where the cries came from, with brokers trying to shout their price and acceptance as loudly as possible, in an attempt to drown and beat the competing brokers at the desired purchase price. Getting an offer in a split second earlier for money per share can mean the difference between millions of dollars in profit on a large share purchase, so the immediacy and force used can be understood when so many are at stake.
Initially, the tenor of the chamber was more regal, as respected businessmen and brokers traded shares at a reasonable rate, and wealth simply moved among wealthy individuals from one family to another. A Rockefeller could buy part of the interests of a Ford or a Vanderbilt, knowing that these successful, rich people would generate more wealth.
As America grew, however, and the American dream was born, ordinary people wanted action. After the American Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s, a middle class emerged, while factory workers fought for more company pie and eventually earned better wages and working conditions. The idea that any American could get rich and get rich quickly took root and what better way than through the New York Stock Exchange.
In the 1920s, many Americans were investing in the stock market. The New York Stock Exchange was booming. Instant millionaires have appeared everywhere. There was a whole new level of rich Americans, with ticker tape devices in their living room, giving them instant updates of market prices. This is when the screams and gestures started in earnest, as brokers were overwhelmed by buyers, new customers and purchase orders. They screamed, screamed and waved their arms to receive the first orders. The country’s position was positive. She was known as the Roaring Twenties, and her theme song was Blue Skies because everything came to roses for most Americans. Consumer credit was born to help sell overpriced products due to massive investments in stock. The only problem was that the whole explosion of wealth was built on a house of books almost like a Ponzi scheme. The shares were sold to start-ups that were not making a profit, they were just filling their coffers with cash investments and too many people were being used on the stock market. For 9 years, from 1920 to 1929, stock prices rose directly to no avail.
That was until October 24, 1929, better known as Black Thursday. This was the day of the Great Stock Exchange Crash that signaled the beginning of the Great Depression, the greatest economic catastrophe the United States has ever faced. The pits exploded with noise as brokers shouted “sell, sell, sell”, trying to reduce losses before it was too late, but they were not buyers. Investors fled en masse, most of them were fake, broke and without money.
However, the New York Stock Exchange persevered and, as with any stock market or market, has had its turbulent ups and downs since then. Over the years there have been a number of peaks and valleys on the New York Stock Exchange. The most recent accident occurred in 2008, after the real estate bubble burst. The market is still recovering. There have been many regulations in place to make trading fairer and more acceptable. Day traders from home computer signaling buy and sell in an instant. In fact, most transactions are done through computers nowadays.
So why are adult men in suits still screaming, screaming, and gesturing like a five-year-old who gets angry? This is the only thing that never seems to change.
Because at its center, the New York Stock Exchange is still a system of auction houses and every DOW transaction takes place at the end of that famous floor. Even if you make a purchase on E * Trade, the transaction is accepted and consumed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, facilitated by a broker. Screaming is not as necessary, nor as widespread as in the past, due to computers and technological advances in communications systems, but there are still brokers on the floor who have to beat their competition to the punch. In fact, manual signals are now more important for stockbrokers’ storage, so they can quickly signal to floor specialists who put them in the real buy or sell order. That explains all the crazy gestures.
“Orders come through brokerage firms that are members of the stock exchange and go to floor brokers that go to a certain place on the floor where they trade shares. In this location, known as the trading post, there is a specific person known as the specialist whose task is to suit buyers and sellers. “
Using obvious savage gestures and screaming when necessary so that the order can be heard, brokers nowadays communicate with their own partners, not so much with the bidder. The noise and anger become so strong over time, the old mass disaster raises its ugly head and to a stranger it looks as if a rugby ash has broken out. In fact, it simply means that a large number of trades sweat right in front of your eyes and to the detriment of your ears.
There will probably come a day when everything will be quiet on the New York Stock Exchange, but it certainly wouldn’t be as much fun. In all likelihood, however, there will always be human traders on the floor to ensure that their transaction takes place, and that will always mean screams and hand signals. So now you know, the next time you watch a frantic video on the New York Stock Exchange, brokers don’t practice becoming professional fighters or politicians. They don’t learn how to guide a plane on the runway or imitate their favorite NFL coach on the sidelines of a football game. They are just trying to make money or save money for their customers. If you turn out to be one of these customers and your money is at stake, even if you only have a 401K pension fund, you may think that these transactions are worth calling for.