Guide to Stock Exchanges

The days of buzzing trading floors may be over, but Stock Market Exchanges matter to global capitalism more than ever before. Digitization is the not the most dramatic change - competition between Exchanges is a more interesting phenomenon. Important financial centers now have more than one Exchange in close physical proximity to each other, and computers working via satellites eliminate the obstacles of space and time.

Not all aspects of competition between Stock Exchanges are favorable for investors. Commitment to small investors, for example, is a key concern -will errant companies be let off the hook, in desperate attempts to hold on to listings? The best management teams may not like to make any exceptions to good governance, but may be forced to lower standards if regulators drop their guards.

The first century of stock market operations saw Exchanges as entirely national institutions. 20th century operators did leverage differences in time zones, and indeed this is still the case. However, international acquisitions are a recent development with global impact. How will governments respond to challenges from a stock market which is controlled and owned by citizens of another country? Economists responsible for national financial policies have traditionally been most responsive to movements of stock market indices, but will they be silent spectators to such influences from abroad?

Emerging countries focus on new Exchanges as a means of economic development. India, a denizen of socialism for much of the latter half of the 20th century, now actively spurs the growth of its newfound stock market culture. This country’s government has even been a prime mover for the creation of the relatively new National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). Other countries also look to the stock market structure to provide new jobs and to yield vast taxation revenues.

We have chosen a combination of old and new Exchanges for description on our pages on this part of our website. The most sound and exciting companies in the world are members of these Exchanges. They all have high ambitions and world-wide impact.