Thursday, March 09, 2006


US Capitalism Begins To Eat Itself

Stunned yesterday by the news that the New York Stock Exchange has gone public. This inevitable act of meta-capitalism means that the powerful day-trader who stalks the streets of lower Manhattan will soon be extinct. Similar changes in the London Stock Exchange last year saw floor trading last only three months after the exchange went public. Online trading can be done for about a tenth of the cost of floor trading and the NYSE already has a large and vital online presence. Traders have long argued that they have the ability to ferret out deals that a computer never would, that trading is an art not a science and should continue to have a human face. But the likelihood that this argument will work on shareholders eager to make a profit is slim. Ironic that the people who have benefited from capitalist expansion will become the victims of it as if they were disenfranchised autoworkers in Detroit and not high powered day traders in downtown Manhattan. One wonders how this development will change the face of New York's Financial District. If the NYSE's move is successful(which it doubtless will be) will other financial institutions take the lead by downsizing workers and further automating? Perhaps this is the first step in the process of the American financial industry going the way of the manufacturing industry.....