From: Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Also, why is the huge manual trading floor still needed?
>I'd expect much less money would be needed to computerize the whole
Currently, it costs in excess of $1 million to get a seat in (become a member of) the NYSE. At those prices, members don't want their control to have any dilution via digital automation. You see, all those raving brokers on the floor of the NYSE stay in visual contact with their bosses, who have the real power: the power to enter the commands <buy>, <sell>, <you're fired>, <move to Switzerland>, and actually see it happen.
Much less money would be needed to computerize the whole thing, for certain. Much less money would be needed to fix the Y2K problem if programmers had alerted their bosses fifteen or twenty years ago. But, hey! ...it will cost around $600 billion to fix the problem, and one man's problem means another man's opportunity. That $600 billion will go into the pockets of IT professionals who've known about the problem for decades, and decided to keep a lid on it. BTW, guess what the Y2K bug will do to traders in derivatives. (Yes, Wall Street has computerized itself extensively already.)
If you (completely) automate the NYSE, you kick out the inside traders and the enormous commissions earned by broderage houses. Without the element of greed, no stock exchange exists. Greed drives the whole machine. How can you automate or computerize greed? --J. R.