Giovanni Battista Piranesi, View of Paestum from L’ancienne Ville de Pesto, 1778
The Wall Street Journal reported that the end of the era of New York City and the United States as the world’s leading center of finance is not just imminent, it is here right now.
After 219 years as the citadel of American capitalism, the New York Stock Exchange was near an agreement to be acquired by Deutsche BÃ¶rse AG in a deal that would create the world’s largest financial exchange.
With the parent of the New York Stock Exchange and Germany’s Deutsche Borse in advanced talks to merge, Aaron Lucchetti and Dennis Berman look at the likely impact on Wall Street as the financial capital of the world.
If a deal is reached and regulators approve, the combined company would trade more stocks and futures than any rival in the world and more options than any U.S. exchange. The takeover would culminate a decade of tie-ups by exchanges around the world eager to find new sources of growth and catch up with smaller rivals that have been quicker to embrace new and lucrative kinds of trading.
For New York, the move is symbolic of the city’s fading dominance on the world stage as other countries are drawing investors directly to their markets. The move also is a recognition that securities trading today goes on at all hours and in all time zones, making the actual bricks and mortar of Wall Street far less important than before.
“New York is going to be important, but it’s not the financial center. Capital markets are everywhere now,” said Michael LaBranche, CEO of LaBranche & Co, the family-run firm that traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for 87 years before it sold that part of its business to Britain’s Barclays Capital in 2010. …
The exchanges, which are presenting the deal as a merger of equals, said the combination would leave 60% of the company in the hands of Deutsche BÃ¶rse shareholders, with NYSE Euronext shareholders holding the remaining 40%. The combined company, with a putative market capitalization of some $25 billion as of Wednesday, would be incorporated in the Netherlands and split its headquarters between Frankfurt and New York.
To put all this into perspective, take this little news item into account.
The U.S. budget deficit grew in January, heading for an expected record in 2011 amid warnings about the nation’s burgeoning debt and wrangling over government spending.
The Treasury Department’s regular monthly statement, released Thursday, showed the U.S. spent $49.80 billion more than it collected last month.
That’s right. In one single month, your government spent an amount of money in excess of its actual income totaling twice what it would cost to buy the combination of the New York Stock Exchange and the German Deutsche BÃ¶rse, the largest merged securities trading entity in the world.
Liberal policies are not only tremendously economically destructive. Their impact is far more rapid than is commonly recognized. New York City’s financial industry has been been propping up not only New York’s tremendously misgoverned city and state for decades, but the entire region. Picture the financial district of New York before long coming to resemble the manufacturing districts of the Northeast. Then picture the US in the position of post-WWII Britain, obliged to dismantle its military and retreat from its traditional role of world leadership permanently, because it just cannot afford military power or a major international role.