The stock market had been the driver, and has now become the servant behind the increasing efficiency, complexity, and advancing technology of the corporation. The seemingly simplistic purpose of these markets to facilitate trade, makes the complex history surrounding its evolution even more interesting. In early times of commerce, large hierarchical organizations arose to monopolize trade to bring about a prosperous city, country or nation. As individual units within these organizations became more successful, prominent, and powerful, they sought out an identity of their own. The result was the recognition of the corporate entity. Now with this new power and identity, the corporation turned to an intermediary to raise capital to continue their growth. Brokers served this purpose and founded a stock market to facilitate this financing in such a way that remained flexible to meet the changing functionality of the corporation. Consequently, the stock market is a representative entity of the corporation, flexible enough to evolve with and for the corporation.
Available by permission of the author. Reproduction or retransmission of this material in any form is prohibited without expressed written permission of the author.
Schroepfer, Andrew, "The Evolution of the Stock Market as a Financial Institution" (1997). Honors Theses, 1963-2015. 612.