Inception Of New York Stock Exchange

We all know that Asia’s oldest stock exchange — The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) — started off under a banyan tree. But do you know there was another stock exchange too which started off on similar note and much before the inception of BSE!

On May 17, 1792 a group of 24 most popular brokers of New York City came together to sign an agreement called Buttonwood Agreement. The agreement was named after the Buttonwood tree, in front of 68 Wall Street, under which the brokers and merchants of the country gathered to trade.

Facing tough competition from a group of powerful government bond merchants, the brokers signed Buttonwood Agreement which stated that they would only trade securities among themselves. It further stated that they would maintain fixed commission rates (of 0.25%) and would not join any other auction.

Later, on March 8, 1817, the broker association was reformed as the New York Stock and Exchange Board with Anthony Stockholm as its first President. At the initial phase only five securities traded in it and the first listed company on the New York Stock and Exchange Board was the Bank of New York. Consequently, the exchange started renting out space exclusively for securities trading.

With time, in 1863, the Exchange’s name was shortened to New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Though NYSE was not the first stock exchange of United States of America, it became the most powerful within no time.

Based on the data, as of May 2015, with a market capitalisation of US$19.69 trillion the New York Stock Exchange is known as the world’s largest stock exchange.