October 17, 2006

My trip to the NYSE

This week I took a trip to the New York Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange in the United States measured by market cap and one of the last great exchanges with a trading floor. Although it has been closed to visitors indefinitely for some time now, one of my professors through his various connections was cool enough to arrange a special visit for 20 interested students where we would be allowed to observe the day's trading activities from the members gallery, and ask questions to one of the directors there. Cameras allowed as long as there was no flash, so I took a few pictures.
NYSE photos
NYSE photos
This is Wall Street in downtown NYC. The building with the big flag is the NYSE. It is surrounded by many stern looking armored guards with automatic weapons which I decided, for my own health, not to capture on camera. We had to get ID verification twice, additional photos taken, and get questioned at two checkpoints before getting our clearance badges printed.

NYSE photos
NYSE photos
I was the second person in, so I had to wait in the lobby for quite a while. That wait lasted almost half an hour. Now I understood why the professor limited attendance to only the first twenty students that signed up.

NYSE photos
Finally we were escorted to the largest of the five trading floors. The NYSE has changed a lot since movies depicted it in the 90s and 80s. Due to the merger with ArcaEx, NYSE became a hybrid market, maintaining both the floor exchange system as well as an electronic system. It's not as frantic on the floor since the majority of transactions are now done electronically or routed straight to the specialist, but massive orders are still occasionally walked over. Supposedly, only 5% of all orders are walked over now. As technology continues to roll out, the director estimated that soon, the floor itself may not even be needed. But even as he predicts the death of the floor, and with much of the horrible shouting and running reduced by technology, the place still seems pretty packed, and LOUD. I can only imagine how bad it must get when big news hits, or how it was before they put in the new system.

NYSE photos
Here is a ticker. They are obsolete these days and are only mounted for atmosphere, since almost all the brokers have their own computers and handheld devices to check whatever info they may need.

NYSE photos
This is a trading post. Each post has certain stocks listed at it where the trade is executed. For special orders, typically very large ones, the brokers actually have to walk over to the posts where they meet with a specialist of whatever stock they wish to trade. The specialist keeps an order book which facilitates the orders between other brokers, helping make sure the process is fair and at the best price.

NYSE photos
These are the booths that line the walls of the floor. This is where the floor traders get their orders from their firms or outside brokers so they can bring it over to the specialist. Much of it is done through handhelds now, but before they set up an electronic network when the brokers got their orders by phone, they all had to physically run out to the floor and engage the specialists face to face.

NYSE photos
One of the coolest parts of the floor is really above it. Everything runs up through an elaborate wiring and pipe system suspended overhead.

Posted by Paranda at October 17, 2006 4:36 PM

Comments

Wow. good @0@!! I saw it only at Tv,economic news...

Posted by: lognhorn at October 24, 2006 11:21 PM


« Lovedol episode 2 | Main | Sakakibara Yui pumps out two excellent singles same day »

Post a comment




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)