Stock Exchange, a market for the purchase and sale of public stocks, shares, and other securities of a similar nature. In London during the 18th century transactions of this kind were conducted in and about the Royal Exchange, but in 1773 the stock-brokers in the form of an association removed first to Sweeting Alley and then to Capel Court, Bartholomew Lane. There a new building, the London Stock Exchange, was erected in 1801. There are now similar institutions in all large cities of the United Kingdom, in Europe ( the Bourse) and in the United States. The New York Stock Exchange, founded in 1792, is the most important in the world.
Under the present system the public is protected by the listing of securities, which must meet certain standards.
Membership in Stock exchanges is generally limited to a definite number; and a new member buys the place of a retiring or deceased member before he is admitted.
A committee makes careful investigation of his financial standing and of his previous business record.
The membership of the New York Stock Exchange is 1,375. (1937)
The members purchase and sell for outsiders and their commissions for these transactions are standard. The Paris Bourse is under direct control of the Government.
Wars and other disasters have a tremendous effect on stock exchanges. At the beginning of the World War all of them were closed.
In 1929 they crashed as a result of tremendous speculation following the period of prosperity.
Under the Federal Securities Act in 1934 the manipulation of prices on stock exchanges in the United States was rendered illegal and a federal commission was established to control the handling of securities. (The Standard American Encyclopedia, Printed and bound in The United States of America by The Cuneo Press, Inc., (subject) Stock Exchange, no page number)
In March, 1902, Roosevelt caused a lawsuit to be bought against the Northern Securities Company, which had been formed by J.P. Morgan and Company and other interest to control certain railroads in the West. The government charged that this was an attempt to cut down competition, and the Supreme Court up-held this view in 1904.
Roosevelt's next important fight, which came in his second term, was against another long-standing railroad evil. This was the secret granting of rebates, or returning sums of money, to favored shippers. The practice often drove other shippers out of business.
The Hepburn Railway Rate Act of 1906 was passed at Roosevelt's demand against conservative opposition. It did not entirely end the vicious practice of rebates, but it was a step in the right direction.
In August, 1907, Federal Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis slapped a vast fine of $29,000,000 on the Standard Oil Company of Indiana for accepting railroad rebates. Roosevelt exploded with anger when a higher court ruled that Landis had been wrong. This was one of the decisions which made him [President Roosevelt] distrust all courts. (World Book Encyclopedia,, 1948, page 7036,vol 14.,Roosevelt, Theodore)