A Sound Map of the Art Institute of Chicago: Grand Staircase to Basement & Stock Exchange (Excerpt)

An excerpt from my ongoing series of sound maps of museums, this brief movement through the Art Institute of Chicago documents my walk down all floors of the Grand Staircase, along with the sound of a group of people disembarking from an elevator inside the exhibition space of the Photography galleries, and finally my solo lap around the original Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room, preserved inside the Art Institute.

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The Difference Between the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Stock Exchange

Stock exchanges are a part of daily life. Not a day passes without us being bombarded by a constant stream of information on various stock exchanges across the world. While the presence of various stock exchanges for different countries is understandable, multiple stock exchanges within the same country does cause some confusion.


To know the reason behind the existence of multiple stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Chicago Stock Exchange (CHX) within the same country, let’s look at the definition of a stock exchange – “an entity that provides “trading” facilities for stock brokers and traders, to trade stocks, bonds, and other securities.”


thus, it is clear that different stock exchanges service different clients. Although this no longer holds true with the advent of online trading, for a long time this was the main reason behind having various stock exchanges. With Chicago and New York being the industrial powerhouses they are, most companies had been based out of these two cities over the last few decades, and it made sense to list their stocks in the local exchanges.


However, with the advancement in electronics and communications, it was no longer required to be physically present at an exchange for the purpose of trading. Moreover, with the blooming importance of New York vis-a-vis Chicago for corporate development, the NYSE has become more significant over the years as compared to CHX. However, CHX is still clearly notable in the American corporate landscape, being the third largest after New york-based NYSE and NASDAQ.


Here’s a brief look at both of these stock exchanges:


New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)


Located at 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York, the NYSE is s the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at $ 11.92 trillion as of August 2010. Its origin can be traced back more than 200 years, when 24 stock traders signed the popular Buttonwood Agreement under a buttonwood tree.


It was the epicenter of the Great Depression when the Wall Street Crash occurred in 1929, not fully recovering until war mobilization during WWII. After the market crash in 1987, the NYSE implemented the circuit-breaker, where trading is temporarily stopped in case of huge percentage drops in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the benchmark index for the exchange.


Presently, the NYSE is open for trading Monday through Friday between 9:30am and 4:00pm Eastern Time, with the exception of early announced holidays. Trades are executed in a constant auction format, where traders can execute stock transactions on behalf of investors. Electronic trading was introduced in 1995, with full automation possible from 2007. The current trading model is a hybrid of electronic and traditional trading.


Chicago Stock Exchange (CHX)


Located at 440 South LaSelle Street in Chicago, the CHX is the third most active stock exchange in the United States by volume, and the largest outside New York City. Founded in 1882, the CHX was merged with the exchanges of St. Louis, Cleveland and Minneapolis/St. Paul to form the Midwest Stock Exchange.


The CHX, in its Midwest Stock Exchange avatar, made the move to automated trading absolutely early. n 1982, it launched the MAX system, which allowed them to be one of the first stock exchanges to provide fully automated order execution.


In 2003, it changed its name back to the Chicago Stock Exchange. Currently, it operates as a direct and wholly owned subsidiary of CHX Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation. Publicly traded companies do not need to be listed on the CHX to be traded here. SEC rules allow the CHX to trade stocks listed on other exchanges. Stocks eligible for trading in the CHX Matching System will include NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ-listed securities.

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