How to Build a Stock Exchange

How to Build a Stock Exchange


Latest Episodes

Episode 9. Finding prices, making prices
June 28, 2019

What’s in a price? This episode sets out to answer that question, via Joseph Wright’s Experiment on a Bird in a Pump, the construction of the London interbank lending rate, and some ruminations on the nature of fact. As for why it matters,

Episode 8. Wires!
June 14, 2019

Modern stock exchanges couldn’t exist without wires. They are virtual, global, infinitely expanding. Their trading floors are humming servers. But no one ever planned this transformation, and it took many by surprise.

Episode 7. The New Deals
June 02, 2019

1980s Wall Street was as inventive as it was ostentatious. New kinds of deal turned the relationship between finance and society on its head: collateralized mortgage obligations made homeowners into raw material for profit,

Episode 6. The decade when greed became good.
May 17, 2019

We can’t make sense of contemporary stock exchanges without understanding the huge changes that swept through finance in the 1980s. This episode explores those upheavals at the level of states and markets, and the of lived reality of Britain’s markets:...

Episode 5. ‘Mind your eye!’ Rules and rituals in the markets
May 02, 2019

Social interactions – rules and rituals, norms and codes of practice – are the glue that holds a stock market together. This was especially so in the open outcry markets of the twentieth century. The episode looks at the strange societies of Chicago’s ...

Episode 4. Pickles, public schoolboys, and the business of financing start-ups
April 18, 2019

This episode takes an anecdotal wander through the business of financing start-ups. Our guide is Sixtus, an old-Etonian who imported ‘business angel’ investing to the UK. Along the way, I’m waspish about public schoolboys, perceptive about pickles,

Episode 3. On Brexit and borrowing: the entanglements of markets and state.
March 29, 2019

From King William III’s empty coffers in the eighteenth century to David Cameron’s ‘big, open and comprehensive offer’ in the twenty-first, penniless governments have had to go cap in hand to the markets. Stock exchanges have always been on hand to hel...

Episode 2. From pigs to prices: a Chicago story
March 15, 2019

How did Chicago’s stockhouses lead to one of the greatest financial markets on earth? This episode explores how commerce and technology shaped the founding of the Chicago Board of Trade and gave birth to financial derivatives.

Episode 1. Finance matters
February 26, 2019

Finance matters. We’re off to build a stock exchange, but first of all I’ll spend a little time explaining why financial markets matter. This episode explores how financial markets – a crucial mechanism for the distribution of wealth – are implicated i...