Trading Spaces : Planet Money The New York Stock Exchange — that bastion of American capitalism — owes its existence to two dozen men, a buttonwood tree, and a coffee shop. Today on The Indicator: the history of Wall Street.
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Trading Spaces

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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