"Des waerelds doen en doolen, is maar een mallemoolen,"

"Des waerelds doen en doolen, is maar een mallemoolen," engraving from Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid, 1720.

"The actions and designs of the world go round as if in a mill." South Sea bubble financial crisis.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The persistence of habits and stock exchange mergers

The Deutsche Börse and the NYSE/Euronext are negotiating a merger. The Economist noted a paradox which shows that it is hard to overcome differences in regulatory practices and that social structures of financial markets are not easily wiped off:

The reality is that the exchange business is unusually unglobal. Securities and derivatives are traded, by and large, in long-standing silos, with their own regulations, laws, working hours and critical mass of big, savvy market participants, who may not all be based in the same country but who share the same rules of engagement. Even if practical, the utility of being able to trade everything, everywhere, all the time is not clear.

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