A merger between the ICE, and the NYSE? Really? What does this mean for the future of the trading floor? First off, FYI, I have no position in either stock. Did they buy the New York Stock Exchange for the brand name alone, sell off what they can sell, and the heck with those who make their living on the trading floor? Highly unlikely, from my humble point of view.
The New York Stock Exchange is historically, a bastion of investor fairness, despite what you may have heard in the past. There were a couple of bad eggs, but look at what you have now. I have been here for 25 years, I know. There is the real possibility that the new buyers see an undervalued asset here. The NYSE's share of the trading volume in it's own listings has dropped in recent years to 21% from the mid 80's, where it was for much of my career. Why has the percentage dropped so much? This is the question that the investing public needs to be asking their elected officials.
Gone are the days of the open outcry, two sided, ongoing auction that pretty much guaranteed proper price discovery in a centralized marketplace. That was clearly the fairest market of all time; your order had to literally be represented at the point of sale by someone who wanted very badly to keep your business. "Your word is your bond" was our rallying cry. We meant that. That said, there are over 40 marketplaces where your shares may trade right now, and speed has become far more important to these folks than price. Do Grandma and Grandpa care if someone takes a couple of seconds to assess supply and demand in order to get them a better price? I would bet not. The NYSE remains the most transparent, most regulated place to trade listed shares. Just maybe, once those with personal agendas are removed from the equation (Congress, are you with me?), transparency, and regulation will matter once again. Ask yourself, do you want your trade executed in a dark pool? If you do, why? If your honest answer to impede others' ability to assess supply and demand, then you are part of the problem.
Maybe the new buyers see the possibility that the "Wild West" has to be tamed, and it's time that the American investor gets a fair shake. Maybe they see that the best chance for that fair shake it centered squarely on this trading floor, where fairness has always mattered. A centralized, somewhat slower market has to be fairer, yet some will fight against just that. Keep score America, they are not all on your side.