A little seat exchange history

Stacey Vanek Smith Oct 26, 2006
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A little seat exchange history

Stacey Vanek Smith Oct 26, 2006
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SCOTT JAGOW: And now for a look back at this week in business history, we open the Marketplace Vault: And where are we? On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.


STACEY VANEK-SMITH: When the New York Stock Exchange started in 1792, it had just 24 members.

Having a seat represented an ownership stake in the Exchange as well as the right to trade stocks on the floor. Members were invited in, and could hold their seats for life.

That changed this week back in 1869, when the Big Board started letting members sell their seats.

It helped the exchange become more dynamic and the seats became quite a commodity. The first sold for $4,000. The record was set last year, at $4 million.

But the days of buying and selling seats are over. Earlier this year, the NYSE went public.

The more than 1,300 members received $5 million for their seats in cash and stock in the new company. Trading rights at the exchange will now be auctioned off each year.

I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith.

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