chapter  4
58 Pages

Securities, Banking, and Insurance

The securities markets were experiencing some revolutionary changes even as the Enron scandals were unfolding. The attack by Eliot Spitzer on Richard Grasso’s retirement package would also have a dramatic effect on one of the nation’s most venerable institutions, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). That exchange traces back to March 1792, when a meeting was held at Corre’s Hotel in New York City that resulted in the “Buttonwood Agreement.” Still in existence, that document reflected an agreement by a group of brokers to fix their commissions on sales of public stock and to give each other preference in their dealings. At the time only five “stocks” were traded in New York. Three were U.S. government securities, and the other two were bank stocks.