The future Museum of American Capitalism.
Hurricane Sandy claimed many victims. Will the New York Stock Exchange’s floor traders be among them?
The Big Board doesn’t like to close, even for the worst natural disaster to hit its hometown in recent memory, one that destroyed the certificates nominally traded on its floor even if didn’t flood NYSE’s own basement. So it’s drawing up plans to avoid having to during the next catastrophe. And that plan doesn’t involve open-outcry trading.
Of course, NYSE says it will never give up its two-century-plus old system. But it will be making those floor traders potentially redundant. And it’s never good to be the last of any legacy business. Read more »
You can trade anywhere these days. So why not demand a bribe?
Fresh from their success sinking the CMDX, the CDS clearinghouse founded by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Citadel Investment Group, the Wall Street oligarchs are now insisting upon tribute from the New York Stock Exchange.
The Big Board is selling a “significant stake” in its U.S. futures exchange, NYSE Liffe U.S., hoping to drum up business after seeing its revenue and profit plummet in the third quarter. It’s worked before: NYSE Euronext sold off a stake of its NYSE Amex Options platform last year, quickly boosting its market share. And while Citadel and the CME tried–and failed–to go it alone, the Intercontinental Exchange built a dominant CDS clearinghouse with the backing of nine banks.
Read more »
As it turns out, the American Stock Exchange still exists and it’s being acquired for $260 million in stock by NYSE Euronext.
The deal had been rumored forever. One person very familiar with the American Stock Exchange told DealBreaker: “Finally! This deal should have happened 15 years ago.”
After the jump, read the full press release.
Read more »
It looks like it’s Merrill Lynch that is nabbing New York Stock Exchange chief executive John Thain.
The New York Post has just reported that Merrill is expected to announce that it has hired Thain to replace ousted CEO Stan O’Neal sometime this afternoon. Zach Kouwe, whose reporting has scooped the world on this story, attributes it to “people familiar with the matter.”
An NYSE board meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. today and an announcement could come after the market closes, sources said. The move is a huge coup for Merrill and board member Alberto Cribiore, who has led the search for a new CEO after O’Neal resigned on Oct. 30.
Kouwe also reports that Citi wanted Thain but he chose the smaller, more narrowly focussed Merrill instead. The Post describes this as a “snub” for Citi. NYSE Chief Operating Officer Duncan Niederauer is expected to land the top job at the exchange.
Citi Snub: Thain Going To Merrill [New York Post]
Update 12:32: The Wall Street Journal files its report also: “John Thain, CEO of NYSE Euronext, has agreed to take the top post at brokerage house Merrill Lynch & Co., according to a person familiar with the matter.”
Update 12:39: Congratulations and thanks to all our readers who voted in this morning’s reader poll, which correctly called that John Thain would leave the NYSE for Merrill. We’re constantly gratified by the amazing accuracy of our polls, which have predicted everything from the level of Fed rate cuts to this news. We like to think we have the best informed, most intelligent readers but it’s nice to see you guys prove it over and over again.
Update 12:50: So what happened to Blackrock chief Larry Fink, the man many thought would eventually be Stan O’Neal replacement? Did he turn the job down? Was the board’s enthusiasm for him exaggerated? Some fear of subprime contagion? Loyalty to Blackrock?
Update 1:06: CNBC’s Charlie Gasparino says that Fink was offered the job, but he spooked the Merrill board by demanding a full-accounting of Merrill’s subprime exposure. This led the board to go in another direction, perhaps out of fear that Fink might turn down the job if the subprime exposure was too bad.
Update 2:01: The Journal confirms that the stock exchange will name
Duncan Niederaueras its new CEO.
Let’s assume for a moment that the rumors (and CNBC’s Bob Pisani) are right and the board of the New York Stock Exchange is holding an unscheduled meeting right now. Views about what is happening are divided, so we figured we’d go to the experts: our readers. What do you think is going on at the NYSE board meeting today?
Rumors are rampant that the New York Stock Exchange will begin an unscheduled board meeting in about ten minutes. The eleven o’clock meeting is widely believed to have been called so that NYSE chief executive John Thain can announce he is leaving the exchange.
CNBC has reported that speculation on the floor of the exchange has Thain leaving to go to either Merrill Lynch or Citigroup, both of which recently ousted their chief executives. Our sources are leaning heavily toward Merrill. And over at the Financial Times, they are just now reporting that Thain isn’t even a contender for the top spot at Citi.
There’s also a minority view that the board is meeting to discuss a new acquisition, perhaps of the NYMEX.
Thain absent from Citi’s shortlist [Financial Times]
The New York Stock Exchange has released it’s calendar for 2008 and 2009. Get excited because in 2008 there will be two extra trading days! It’s a leap year, giving us an extra day in February. And there is one less holiday on the schedule—this year we honored the death of Gerald “stagflation” Ford by refusing to work. Unless a former president dies this year, we should have one more day of trading.
Leap years tend to outperform other years, with particularly strong Augusts. Of course, leap years are also presidential election years, which may have more to do with market performance than that extra day in February.
Click chart for larger version.
NYSE Euronext Holidays & Hours [NYSE]
Sadly, the amount of activity on the famous floor of the NYSE is dwindling. A space once filled with the roar of brokers and clerks on the floor buying and selling stocks has been largely replaced with computerized trading . From it’s peak of over 3,000 members, the crowd has tapered off to about 1,700.
Dealbook reports this morning: “The decline in activity at the exchange’s headquarters at 11 Wall Street is palpable. Tourists no longer queue up by the hundreds to survey the floor from the visitors’ gallery or watch the ceremonial ringing of the opening and closing bells. Excluded for security reasons since 9/11, they can only wander by the building that has long symbolized the heart of American commerce.
If they could get inside, they would see that a once-vital organ has been reduced to a reliable backdrop for financial shows on cable.”
In the coming weeks, the exchange will close down two trading areas it added decades ago. Dealbreaker is wondering what the NYSE plans to do with this extra space. After tossing around some ideas – here’s what we came up with:
- A Starbucks or two. The floor of the NYSE might be the most expansive area that doesn’t have a Starbucks.
- A food court, featuring a Cipriani, Robert’s Steakhouse
- A dry cleaning service – have you seen the pit stains under those guys arms?
- An apprenticeship booth manned by Tim Sykes
You guys are a creative bunch, surely you must have some ideas what the NYSE can do with the added floor space.
New York’s Shrinking Exchange Floor [Dealbook]
Next to Downsize on Wall Street? The Exchange Floor [New York Times]
We’re not sure why but for some reason this afternoon we found ourselves wondering about trading collars and curbs. This infographic from the New York Stock Exchange is just about the clearest illustration of when the NYSE will put the breaks on a plummeting market. (Or a skyrocketing market, but that’s unlikely to be an issue today.)
The circuit breakers don’t kick in until there is a 1,350 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The “circuit breakers” halt trading for varying periods of time, depending on when the DJIA hits the trigger.
Under the tutelage of Chief John Thain, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange has (d)evolved into a) one big computer and b) a tourist attraction for the Colonial Williamsburg-going set in New York for the week. Specialists have been rendered unnecessary, unless they’re giving tours, selling souvenirs. Accepting this shift in climate, LaBranche & Co. officially put itself on the block today. The largest trading firm on the Exchange, LaB’s stock is down nearly 20% this year and said yesterday that it will post a second-quarter loss due to a “substantial” write down of its specialist business (its business on the AMEX has already been sold).
Fortress Investment Group is said to have a possible interest in LaBranche, which has a market cap of about $486 million. Bid on a piece of this living museum today!
Earlier: NYSE Jumps The Shark
Trading Places [New York Post]
The New York Stock Exchange has banned Michael Moore, saying he is not welcome in the exchange building on Wall Street, CNBC is reporting. The controversial film-maker was scheduled to be interviewed by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo at 3 PM today.
Moore’s latest film “Sicko” is critical of the health care system in the United States, and he has been calling on investors, pension funds other institutional investors to divest from health insurance companies. Some publicly traded health insurance companies are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Last week a Lehman Brothers analyst wrote a client note describing the film as an attack on the U.S. health care system. “Michael Moore’s latest documentary, ‘Sicko,’ to be released June 29, might trigger resentment against insurers,” the note said. “The film directly aims at the U.S. health care system and the insurance industry and suggests a government-run system is the best alternative.”
Update: We’re told that Moore may now be unbanned. Still no word on what powerful force inside the exchange is issuing and possibly retracting these orders.