Between the massive Georgia marble walls of 11 Wall Street lies a space steeped in history and tradition. The frantic outcry of traders and the whirring of vigorous machines produces an aura that possesses a uniquely romantic charm. The floor of the New York Stock Exchange stands inexorably tied to the notion of capitalism in our collective cultural psyche, yet the future of this landmark remains in question. In 2011, NYSE Euronext, the parent company of the Big Board, was approached by competing takeover bidders; first by the German based Deutsche Börse and consequently by Nasdaq-ICE. While both companies have varying, lucrative propositions regarding stock listings and product offerings, the debate over the future of 11 Wall Street remains a unique dilemma.
Over the course of deliberations between the Deutsche Börse, Nasdaq-ICE, and NYSE Euronext, both bidders have pledged to keep the trading floor intact; however, two separate visions have emerged. The Deutsche Börse deal would create a combined company that would continue to trade stocks domestically while providing access to faster-growing international derivative products. While the Deutsche Börse has itself moved towards an electronically centered model that employs only 120 traders on its Frankfurt floor, this deal would likely allow the cash equities side to maintain its current man and machine design in New York.
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