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in an article on FT noting that stock markets no longer fulfil their theoretical role of allowing new and innovative companies to raise capital, i.e. they no longer serve capitalism but are parasitic to it. Visibly, a major driver of this is that the stock markets are themselves private companies, which is outright lunacy if they are implicitly expected to fulfill a particular utility function for general benefit :

A market less efficient - FT.com

The changing role of stock markets has been accompanied by a radical change in the business models - and priorities - of exchanges, which have evolved from mutually owned "clubs" into listed companies driven by their own shareholders' need for returns. There are fears that some have lost sight of their public utility function as platforms for raising capital and, ultimately, helping with job creation.

For many exchanges, the business of attracting flotations has lost its ap­peal, bringing in little more than initial listings fees. Instead, exchanges - especially large ones - are diversifying into derivatives and clearing, where margins are higher; and rolling out new technology to attract high-frequency traders. For example, NYSE Euronext, operator of the New York Stock Exchange, earned $334m of group revenue from company listings in the year to September, compared with $675m from derivatives.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Nov 14th, 2011 at 06:15:43 AM EST
I don't know enough about how stock exchanges are, in theory, supposed to work and be beneficial.  I don't know enough about how stock exchanges are screwed up at the moment, beyond a general sense.  So I can't really comment on this.

Having non-profit, government controlled exchanges sounds good, but that's just because I think "non-profit" and "government controlled" sound good in general.  I honestly don't know why they would be better in this case.

by Zwackus on Mon Nov 14th, 2011 at 07:56:00 AM EST
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Exchanges provide an infrastructure service, and are a choke point for economic activity. These are two typical justifications for nationalisation.

But I think the urgency is greater for commodity exchanges than for stock exchanges. Everybody knows a stock exchange is a shark pool, so when consenting adults jump into the pool they are kinda asking for it. Whereas commodities exchanges are much more of a choke point for the real economy: A shipping company needs to be able to buy bunkering oil six months forward, because it needs to be able to plan its logistics six months ahead. So it has to participate in the commodities markets.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 14th, 2011 at 11:27:36 AM EST
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