The History of the US Stock Exchange – Wall Street
Posted - 25 April 2012 by Escape Currency
In 1644, more than 100 years before the United States of America, as we know it, was formed, Dutch settlers built a wall on the lower end of the “island” of Manhattan, to protect them against attacks by pirates, native Indians and the English.
The financial centre of the World?Many years later, this defensive the wall has gone, but the road alongside remained and was, of course, called Wall Street. We think of Wall Street as the financial centre of the United States, and indeed, the world, but it hasn't always been this way.
Early in the USA’s history, Boston was the financial centre of America. Bonds for projects such as roads, canals and bridges, and contracts for commodities such as hides and molasses, were bought and sold mostly by Boston dealers. However, there was not yet an official place to conduct such business.
Secret meetings and the Buttonwood AgreementTwenty four of New York City’s leading merchants and traders met secretly at The Corre’s Hotel to discuss ways to bring some order to the securities business, and to protect it from their competitors, the auctioneers. Two months later, on May 17, 1792, these merchants signed the “Buttonwood Agreement”, named after their secret meeting place in Castle Garden (now known as Battery Park) underneath a Buttonwood tree! This agreement stated that trading fees would be set solely by the signers of trade securities, between themselves only, and not to involve in, or participate with, other auctions of securities.
The New York Stock Exchange is bornThese twenty four men had just founded what was to become the New York Stock Exchange. In a building at 22 Wall Street, securities were auctioned every day beginning at noon, sold to the highest bidder. The seller paid the exchange a commission on each stock or bond sold. The exchange was later moved to a building at 40 Wall Street.
Strictly Men only! They originally called this organization The Stock Exchange Office. This was a very exclusive organization, allowing only the elite of New York's financial community to join. And certainly no women were allowed! But that’s a whole new subject – and one that we will cover very soon… watch this space Ladies!
Tags: wall street, financial, stock exchange, United States, New York, America,
This entry was posted in Business.