Historical Briefing: Stocks, Finance and Money


The World Bank claims that some two billion of the world'scitizens live on $1 per day or less! That fact absolutelyshocked me. With this statistic in mind it becomes important tofocus on all of the things that have served as money over thehistory of civilization. Aztecs used Cocoa beans, Norwegiansused Butter and dried cod, many Indian tribes used animal skinsand some of the early colonists used grains. It's worth thinkingabout this the next time you pick up your paycheck. The word"salary" is derived from the word SALT, which is what was thekey currency of the North Africans for hundreds of years. SALTwas a key commodity substance used for preserving food.

A butter and dried cod banking system? Reconciling your monthlybank statement must have been very messy!

I'll take bear markets for $100 please Alec!

Anybody want to guess how we came to describe and define a BEARmarket? Well, there is a debate on this one as most people feelthat when a Bear makes a killing its claws move from up to down. However, bear markets are bone-chilling experiences. Marketsalways fall much faster than they rise! Anyway, the word"arctic" is derived from "arktos" which just so happens to bethe Greek word for "BEAR!" And that is how it is believed thatthe word BEAR came to describe a declining market. Brrrrrrrrrrr..

Now you know!

Ok, why the heck do they call it Wall Street anyway?

It was the Dutch you see. They had just moved to Manhattan andhad nowhere to build a dyke, so instead they built a wall. Thiswas in 1653, and it wasn't meant to keep water out, but was madeto keep out the British and Indians. Easy enough for the Dutch, just a 12 foot high wood stockade that ran from river to river.

Then in 1685 they laid out Wall Street along the line of thestockade.

Now you know.

These days the average volume on the New York Stock Exchange isseveral hundred million shares. We have even seen numerous dayswhen the volume exceeded over one billion shares. To give youan idea of how far we have come, the last date on record whenthe New York Stock Exchange traded less than one million shareswas October 10, 1953. The very first day that the BIG BOARDtraded over one million shares was December 15, 1886. On BlackTuesday, the BIG CRASH on 10/29/29 the market established Recordvolume of 16 million shares!

Now you know.

Gosh! One Billion Shares a day....that's a lot of dried cod!

Harald Anderson


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