Today I learned the NYSE was closed on Wednesdays in the late 60s to catch up on paperwork

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OkieIndexer
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Today I learned the NYSE was closed on Wednesdays in the late 60s to catch up on paperwork

Post by OkieIndexer » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:19 am

https://medium.com/@nickgraynews/the-ne ... d693133e06
For a period in the late 1960s, The New York Stock Exchange was only open for trading four days a week. The culprit was paperwork.

This is a rarely discussed period in stock market history. This began in 1968 and went on for months, as stock trading went dark on Wednesdays and occasionally additional weekdays in order for staff to work through the tremendous backlog.

Unfortunately for the NYSE, just shutting down for an extra day didn’t solve the problem.
I wonder why it was a problem in the late 60s, enough to close for a full weekday every week, but not a problem in the Roaring 20s/30s huge increase in volume? From what I've read the Nifty Fifty bubble was mainly around 1971-late 1972.

[Distracting embedded image (meme) removed by admin LadyGeek. Here's the link: https://i.ibb.co/qd1bR0m/paperwork.png ] :P

Valuethinker
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Re: Today I learned the NYSE was closed on Wednesdays in the late 60s to catch up on paperwork

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:17 am

OkieIndexer wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:19 am
https://medium.com/@nickgraynews/the-ne ... d693133e06
For a period in the late 1960s, The New York Stock Exchange was only open for trading four days a week. The culprit was paperwork.

This is a rarely discussed period in stock market history. This began in 1968 and went on for months, as stock trading went dark on Wednesdays and occasionally additional weekdays in order for staff to work through the tremendous backlog.

Unfortunately for the NYSE, just shutting down for an extra day didn’t solve the problem.
I wonder why it was a problem in the late 60s, enough to close for a full weekday every week, but not a problem in the Roaring 20s/30s huge increase in volume? From what I've read the Nifty Fifty bubble was mainly around 1971-late 1972.

The volumes would have been much larger in the 1960s than the 1920s, I believe. And the broking firms, still private partnerships, had not had the capital to invest in modernizing systems - the Back Office probably was little changed from the 1940s (addition of mainframe computers but for the high volume tasks only - probably a dump which was then acted on a paperwork basis by back office).

There's a book "What Goes Up" which is a good read on this - notes from interviews with key players, arranged thematically.

See also "Adam Smith"s book The Money Game which is written in those times (Adam Smith as a pseudonym of a financial commentator, name escapes me - Goodman?).

Also John Brooks "The Go Go Years" - he was the New Yorker's business correspondent (and Warren Buffett recommends his book of essays about business).

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Stinky
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Re: Today I learned the NYSE was closed on Wednesdays in the late 60s to catch up on paperwork

Post by Stinky » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:34 pm

With our current instant access to everything through the internet, it's hard to recall that it hasn't been all that long that we've been in the computer age.

The world as we know it today would not exist without computers.
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Spirit Rider
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Re: Today I learned the NYSE was closed on Wednesdays in the late 60s to catch up on paperwork

Post by Spirit Rider » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:31 pm

Exactly. It wasn't that long ago that there were no monthly statements for checking accounts, savings accounts and CDs. You had to go to the bank and have your passbook updated. At least that was automated with computers.

My mother showed me some old passbooks she had saved from when she was very young. They had hand written entries in them.

She said when you went in to make a deposit, withdrawal or post your interest. The teller would go to the "Bank's Book" write down your current balance and last interest posting (only done monthly). Then they would use the manual calculator to calculate the interest.

The interest and deposit/withdrawal were recorded in your passbook and transaction report. The transaction reports were reconciled after the bank closed for the day. That was the reason for banker's hours. They needed a couple of hours to double check and record the day's transactions in the "Book".

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