HAI Details the Evolution of Securities Market Structure in New Online Exhibit

Date: March 6, 2019
Contact: Anne Strong
Telephone: (301) 279-9697

For most Americans, the term “stock market” still brings to mind the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange, with the trading floor suddenly bursting into action precisely at 10 a.m. In truth, the way securities are traded today is largely automated and electronic – a result of a century of technology innovation and changes in regulations.

SEC Historical Society June 1 2018 Market Structure Panelists
Market Structure panel held at the SEC on June 1, 2018 – Panelists left to right: Moderator Ken Durr, Annette Nazareth, Rich Linsey, Rick Ketchum and Hester Peirce

The Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society has launched a new online gallery that covers how the market structure has changed since the 1930s. The new gallery, Transformation & Regulation: Equities Market Structure, 1934 to 2018, was extensively researched and curated by Dr. Kenneth Durr of HAI. It features a narrative history supported by dozens of supporting documents, papers, interviews, photos, and videos which can be accessed directly from the online gallery.

This gallery provides important context for current changes in the securities markets, in which the SEC is taking a harder stance against the larger stock exchanges. “Generally speaking, the SEC would always try to adopt a light touch and guide and provide expertise,” said Dr. Durr in a recent Wall Street Journal article regarding the Commission’s traditional approach.

The new gallery illustrates the underlying changes that gave rise to a more assertive stance by the SEC. Dr. Durr noted, “The markets have changed dramatically in structure most obviously as a result of the Internet and electronic trades, causing a more level playing field.” The gallery also highlights landmark rulemaking by the Commission that has shaped the exchanges over the past century. These rules, such as NYSE Rule 394, the Quote Rule, the Order Handling Rules, and Regulation ATS, all evolved in tandem with developments in technology.

The Market Structure Gallery was launched on March 1, 2019. It is the 17th permanent gallery in the Virtual Museum and Archive, hosted on www.sechistorical.org. It was made possible by the generous support of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, Cboe Exchange, Inc., and the SEC Historical Society’s 2018-19 Museum Committee.

About the SEC Historical Society

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that shares, preserves and advances knowledge of the history of financial regulation through its virtual museum and archive at www.sechistorical.org. It is independent of and separate from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and receives no funding from the public sector. The virtual museum and archive is free and accessible worldwide.

About HAI

For more than 35 years, HAI has helped clients to bring knowledge forward – use the past to inform the present and prepare for the future. The company’s historians and archivists research and write histories, create educational experiences, preserve and manage historical content, and conduct specialized historical research for corporations, government agencies, law firms, and nonprofit organizations worldwide.

For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or contact HAI today.

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