The New York Stock Exchange got its start more than 200 years ago, with an agreement, signed by 24 men under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street.
Up to that point trading was a chaotic operation, conducted on street corners and in coffee houses, with basically no rules. So when America's young government declined to write its own regulations, a group of traders took it upon themselves to enter into a gentlemen's agreement that would lay the groundwork for the Wall Street we know today.
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