Casino tokens are small discs used in lieu of currency in casinos. Colored metal, injection-molded plastic or compression molded clay tokens of various denominations are used in table games, as opposed to metal token coins, used in slot machines. Casino tokens are widely used as play money in casual or tournament games; some casinos use rectangular gaming plaques for high-stakes table games. Plaques differ from chips in that they are larger rectangular in shape and contain serial numbers. Money is exchanged for tokens in a casino at the casino cage, at the gaming tables, or at a cashier station; the tokens are interchangeable with money at the casino. They have no value outside of the casino, but certain businesses in gambling towns may honor them informally. Tokens are employed for several reasons; because of the uniform size and patterns of stacks of chips, they are easier to tally compared to currency. This attribute enables the pit boss or security to verify the amount being paid, reducing the chance that a dealer might incorrectly pay a customer.
The uniform weight of the casino's official tokens allows them to weigh great stacks or heaps of chips rather than tally them Furthermore, it is observed that consumers gamble more with replacement currencies than with cash. A more pragmatic reason for casinos using chips in place of cash at table games is to discourage players from grabbing back their bet and attempting to flee should their bet not win, because chips, unlike cash, must be redeemed at the casino cashier and have no value outside the casino in question. Lastly, the chips are considered to be an integral part of the casino environment, replacing them with some alternate currency would be unpopular. Many casinos have eliminated the use of metal tokens in their slot machines, in favor of paper receipts or pre-paid cards, while requiring heavy infrastructure costs to install, eliminate the coin handling expenses, jamming problems encountered in machines which took coins or tokens and can allow more game-specific technology in the space of a machine which would be dedicated to coin mechanisms.
While some casinos which installed the receipt system had kept the $1 tokens around for use as $1 chips, most other casinos using the receipts had scrapped the tokens entirely. Most casinos using receipts have automated machines at which customers may redeem receipts, eliminating the need for coin counting windows and decreasing labor costs. Casino chip collecting is a part of numismatics, more as specialized exonumia collecting; this hobby has become popular with the Casino Chips & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club formed in 1988. Some collectors may value certain casino tokens up to $100,000, which are traded on online auction websites like eBay. Several casinos sell custom-made sets of chips and one or two decks of cards stamped with the name of the casino on them; each set is contained in box. The ancestors of the modern casino token were the counters used to keep score in the card games Ombre and Quadrille. In 1752, French Quadrille sets contained a number of different counters, known as jetons and mils.
Unlike modern poker chips, they were colored differently only to determine player ownership for purposes of settling payments at the end of the game, with different denominations differentiated by different shapes that each counter type had. In the early history of Poker during the 19th century, players seemed to use any small valuable object imaginable. Early poker players sometimes used jagged gold pieces, gold nuggets, gold dust, or coins as well as "chips" made of ivory, wood, a composition made from clay and shellac. Several companies between the 1880s and the late 1930s made clay composition poker chips. There were over 1000 designs from. Most chips were white, red and yellow, but they could be made in any color desired; the vast majority of authentic casino chips are "clay" chips but can be more described as compression molded chips. Contrary to popular belief, no gaming chip going as far back as the 1950s has been 100% clay. Modern clay chips are a composition of materials more durable than clay alone.
At least some percentage of the chips is of an earthen material such as sand and clay similar to that found in cat litter. The process used to make these chips is a trade secret, varies by manufacturer, most being expensive and time-consuming per chip; the edge spots, or inserts, are not painted on. Each chip receives a mid-inlay if desired, is placed in a special mold that heats and compresses the chip at 10,000 psi at 300 °F, hence the term compression molded chips; the printed graphics on clay chips is called an inlay. Inlays are made of paper and are clad with a plastic film applied to the chip prior to the compression molding process. During the molding process the inlay becomes permanently fastened to the chip and can not be removed from the chip without destroying the inlay. Ceramic chips were introduced in the mid 1980s as alternative to clay chips, are used in casinos, as well as being available to the home market; the ability
Ticker tape was the earliest digital electronic communications medium, transmitting stock price information over telegraph lines, in use between around 1870 through 1970. It consisted of a paper strip that ran through a machine called a stock ticker, which printed abbreviated company names as alphabetic symbols followed by numeric stock transaction price and volume information; the term "ticker" came from the sound made by the machine. Paper ticker tape became obsolete in the 1960s, as television and computers were used to transmit financial information; the concept of the stock ticker lives on, however, in the scrolling electronic tickers seen on brokerage walls and on news and financial television channels. Ticker tape stock price telegraphs were invented in 1867 by Edward A. Calahan, an employee of the American Telegraph Company. Although telegraphic printing systems were first invented by Royal Earl House in 1846, early models were fragile, required hand-cranked power went out of synchronization between sender and receiver, did not become popular in widespread commercial use.
David E. Hughes improved the printing telegraph design with clockwork weight power in 1856, his design was further improved and became viable for commercial use when George M. Phelps devised a resynchronization system in 1858; the first stock price ticker system using a telegraphic printer was invented by Edward A. Calahan in 1863. Early versions of stock tickers provided the first mechanical means of conveying stock prices, over a long distance over telegraph wiring. In its infancy, the ticker used the same symbols as Morse code as a medium for conveying messages. One of the earliest practical stock ticker machines, the Universal Stock Ticker developed by Thomas Edison in 1869, used alphanumeric characters with a printing speed of one character per second. Stock prices had been hand-delivered via written or verbal messages. Since the useful time-span of individual quotes is brief, they had not been sent long distances; the increase in speed provided by the ticker allowed for more exact sales.
Since the ticker ran continuously, updates to a stock's price whenever the price changed became effective much faster and trading became a more time-sensitive matter. For the first time, trades were being done in. By the 1880s, there were about a thousand stock tickers installed in the offices of New York bankers and brokers. In 1890, members of the exchange agreed to create the New York Quotation Co. buying up all other ticker companies to ensure accuracy of reporting of price and volume activity. Stock ticker machines are an ancestor of the modern computer printer, being one of the first applications of transmitting text over a wire to a printing device, based on the printing telegraph; this used the technology of the then-recently invented telegraph machines, with the advantage that the output was readable text, instead of the dots and dashes of Morse code. A special typewriter designed for operation over telegraph wires was used at the opposite end of the telegraph wire connection to the ticker machine.
Text typed on the typewriter was displayed on the ticker machine at the opposite end of the connection. The machines printed a series of ticker symbols, followed by brief information about the price of that company's stock; the word ticker comes from the distinct tapping noise the machines made while printing. Pulses on the telegraph line made a letter wheel turn step by step until the correct symbol was reached and printed. A typical 32-symbol letter wheel had to turn on average 15 steps until the next letter could be printed resulting in a slow printing speed of one character per second. In 1883, ticker transmitter keyboards resembled the keyboard of a piano with black keys indicating letters and the white keys indicating numbers and fractions, corresponding to two rotating type wheels in the connected ticker tape printers. Newer and more efficient tickers became available in the 1930s, but these newer and better tickers still had an approximate 15-to-20-minute delay. Ticker machines became obsolete in the 1960s, replaced by computer networks.
However, working reproductions of at least one model are now being manufactured for museums and collectors. Simulated ticker displays, named after the original machines, still exist as part of the display of television news channels and on some websites — see news ticker. One of the most famous outdoor displays is the simulated ticker scrolling marquee located at One Times Square in New York City. Ticker tapes and now contain the same information; the ticker symbol is a unique set of characters used to identify the company. The shares traded is the volume for the trade being quoted. Price traded refers to the price per share of a particular trade. Change direction is a visual cue showing whether the stock is trading higher or lower than the previous trade, hence the terms downtick and uptick. Change amount refers to the difference in price from the previous day’s closing. Many today include color to indicate whether a stock is trading higher than the previous day’s, lower than previous, or has remained unchanged.
In the early days of baseball, before electronic scoreboards, manual score turners used a ticker to get the latest scores from around the league. Today and electronic scoreboards have replaced the manual scoreboard and the ticker. Used ticker tape was c
Poker is a family of card games that combines gambling and skill. All poker variants involve betting as an intrinsic part of play, determine the winner of each hand according to the combinations of players' cards, at least some of which remain hidden until the end of the hand. Poker games vary in the number of cards dealt, the number of shared or "community" cards, the number of cards that remain hidden, the betting procedures. In most modern poker games the first round of betting begins with one or more of the players making some form of a forced bet. In standard poker, each player bets according to the rank they believe their hand is worth as compared to the other players; the action proceeds clockwise as each player in turn must either match the maximum previous bet, or fold, losing the amount bet so far and all further involvement in the hand. A player who matches a bet may "raise" the bet; the betting round ends when all players folded. If all but one player folds on any round, the remaining player collects the pot without being required to reveal their hand.
If more than one player remains in contention after the final betting round, a showdown takes place where the hands are revealed, the player with the winning hand takes the pot. With the exception of initial forced bets, money is only placed into the pot voluntarily by a player who either believes the bet has positive expected value or, trying to bluff other players for various strategic reasons. Thus, while the outcome of any particular hand involves chance, the long-run expectations of the players are determined by their actions chosen on the basis of probability and game theory. Poker has increased in popularity since the beginning of the 20th century and has gone from being a recreational activity confined to small groups of enthusiasts to a popular activity, both for participants and spectators, including online, with many professional players and multimillion-dollar tournament prizes. Poker was developed sometime during the early 19th century in the United States. Since those early beginnings, the game has grown to become an popular pastime worldwide.
In the 1937 edition of Foster's Complete Hoyle, R. F. Foster wrote: "the game of poker, as first played in the United States, five cards to each player from a twenty-card pack, is undoubtedly the Persian game of As-Nas." By the 1990s some gaming historians including David Parlett started to challenge the notion that poker is a direct derivative of As-Nas. Developments in the 1970s led to poker becoming far more popular. Modern tournament play became popular in American casinos after the World Series of Poker began, in 1970. In casual play, the right to deal a hand rotates among the players and is marked by a token called a dealer button. In a casino, a house dealer handles the cards for each hand, but the button is rotated clockwise among the players to indicate a nominal dealer to determine the order of betting; the cards are dealt clockwise around one at a time. One or more players are required to make forced bets either an ante or a blind bet; the dealer shuffles the cards, the player on the chair to his or her right cuts, the dealer deals the appropriate number of cards to the players one at a time, beginning with the player to his or her left.
Cards may be dealt depending on the variant of poker being played. After the initial deal, the first of what may be several betting rounds begins. Between rounds, the players' hands develop in some way by being dealt additional cards or replacing cards dealt. At the end of each round, all bets are gathered into the central pot. At any time during a betting round, if one player bets, no opponents choose to call the bet, all opponents instead fold, the hand ends the bettor is awarded the pot, no cards are required to be shown, the next hand begins; this is. Bluffing is a primary feature of poker, one that distinguishes it from other vying games and from other games that make use of poker hand rankings. At the end of the last betting round, if more than one player remains, there is a showdown, in which the players reveal their hidden cards and evaluate their hands; the player with the best hand according to the poker variant being played wins the pot. A poker hand comprises five cards. Poker variations are played where a "low hand" may be the best desired hand.
In other words, when playing a poker variant with "low poker" the best hand is one that contains the lowest cards. So while the "majority" of poker game variations are played "high hand", where the best high "straight, flush etc." wins, there are poker variations where the "worst hand" wins, such as "low ball, acey-ducey, high-lo split etc. game variations". To summarize, there can be variations that are "high poker", "low poker", "high low split". In the case of "high low split" the pot is divided among low hand. Poker has many variations, all following a similar pattern of play and using the same hand ranking hierarchy. There are four main families of variants grouped by the protocol of card-dealing and betting: Straight A complete hand is dealt to each player, players bet in one round, with raising and re-raising allowed; this is the oldest poker family.
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The stock of a corporation is all of the shares into which ownership of the corporation is divided. In American English, the shares are known as "stocks." A single share of the stock represents fractional ownership of the corporation in proportion to the total number of shares. This entitles the stockholder to that fraction of the company's earnings, proceeds from liquidation of assets, or voting power dividing these up in proportion to the amount of money each stockholder has invested. Not all stock is equal, as certain classes of stock may be issued for example without voting rights, with enhanced voting rights, or with a certain priority to receive profits or liquidation proceeds before or after other classes of shareholders. Stock can be bought and sold or on stock exchanges, such transactions are heavily regulated by governments to prevent fraud, protect investors, benefit the larger economy; as new shares are issued by a company, the ownership and rights of existing shareholders are diluted in return for cash to sustain or grow the business.
Companies can buy back stock, which lets investors recoup the initial investment plus capital gains from subsequent rises in stock price. Stock options, issued by many companies as part of employee compensation, do not represent ownership, but represent the right to buy ownership at a future time at a specified price; this would represent a windfall to the employees if the option is exercised when the market price is higher than the promised price, since if they sold the stock they would keep the difference. A person who owns a specific percentage of the share has the ownership of the corporation proportional to his share; the shares together form stock. The stock of a corporation is partitioned into shares, the total of which are stated at the time of business formation. Additional shares may subsequently be authorized by the existing shareholders and issued by the company. In some jurisdictions, each share of stock has a certain declared par value, a nominal accounting value used to represent the equity on the balance sheet of the corporation.
In other jurisdictions, shares of stock may be issued without associated par value. Shares represent a fraction of ownership in a business. A business may declare different types of shares, each having distinctive ownership rules, privileges, or share values. Ownership of shares may be documented by issuance of a stock certificate. A stock certificate is a legal document that specifies the number of shares owned by the shareholder, other specifics of the shares, such as the par value, if any, or the class of the shares. In the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Australia, stock can refer to different financial instruments such as government bonds or, less to all kinds of marketable securities. Stock takes the form of shares of either common stock or preferred stock; as a unit of ownership, common stock carries voting rights that can be exercised in corporate decisions. Preferred stock differs from common stock in that it does not carry voting rights but is entitled to receive a certain level of dividend payments before any dividends can be issued to other shareholders.
Convertible preferred stock is preferred stock that includes an option for the holder to convert the preferred shares into a fixed number of common shares any time after a predetermined date. Shares of such stock are called "convertible preferred shares". New equity issue may have specific legal clauses attached that differentiate them from previous issues of the issuer; some shares of common stock may be issued without the typical voting rights, for instance, or some shares may have special rights unique to them and issued only to certain parties. New issues that have not been registered with a securities governing body may be restricted from resale for certain periods of time. Preferred stock may be hybrid by having the qualities of bonds of fixed returns and common stock voting rights, they have preference in the payment of dividends over common stock and have been given preference at the time of liquidation over common stock. They have other features of accumulation in dividend. In addition, preferred stock comes with a letter designation at the end of the security.
B, whereas Class "A" shares of ORION DHC, Inc will sell under ticker OODHA until the company drops the "A" creating ticker OODH for its "Common" shares only designation. This extra letter does not mean that any exclusive rights exist for the shareholders but it does let investors know that the shares are considered for such, these rights or privileges may change based on the decisions made by the underlying company. "Rule 144 Stock" is an American term given to shares of stock subject to SEC Rule 144: Selling Restricted and Control Securities. Under Rule 144, restricted and controlled securities are acquired in unregistered form. Investors either purchase or take ownership of these securities through private sales from the issuing company or from an affiliate of the issuer. Investors wishing to sell these securities are subject to different rules than those selling traditional common or preferred stock; these individuals will only be allowed to liquidate their securities after meeting the specific conditions set forth by SEC Rule 144.
"East Indiaman" was a general name for any sailing ship operating under charter or licence to any of the East India Companies of the major European trading powers of the 17th through the 19th centuries. The term is therefore used to refer to vessels belonging to the Danish, English, Portuguese, or Swedish East India companies; some of the East Indiamen chartered by the British East India Company were known as "tea clippers". In Britain, the Honourable East India Company held a monopoly granted to it by Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1600 for all English trade between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, progressively restricted during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, until the monopoly was lost in 1834. English East Indiamen ran between England, the Cape of Good Hope and India, where their primary destinations were the ports of Bombay and Calcutta; the Indiamen continued on to China before returning to England via the Cape of Good Hope and Saint Helena. When the company lost its monopoly, the ships of this design were sold off.
A smaller, faster ship known as a Blackwall Frigate was built for the trade as the need to carry heavy armaments declined. "East Indiaman" was a general name for any sailing ship operating under charter or licence to any of the East India Companies of the major European trading powers of the 17th through the 19th centuries. These include the Danish, English, French and Swedish East India companies. East Indiamen carried both passengers and goods, were armed to defend themselves against pirates; the East Indiamen were built to carry as much cargo as possible, rather than for speed of sailing. The East India company had a monopoly on trade with China, supporting this design. East Indiamen were the largest merchant ships built during the late 18th and early 19th centuries measuring between 1100 and 1400 tons burthen. Two of the largest were the Earl of Mansfield and Lascelles being built at Deptford in 1795; the Royal Navy purchased both, converted them to 56-gun fourth rates, renamed them Weymouth and Madras respectively.
They measured 1426 tons on dimensions of 175 feet overall length of hull, 144 feet keel, 43 feet beam, 17 feet draft. In England, Queen Elizabeth I granted an exclusive right to the trade to one company in 1600; this monopoly lasted until 1834. The company grew to encompass more than the trade between England and India, but the ships described in this article are the type used in the 17th to the early 19th centuries to carry the trade. During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars they were painted to resemble warships; the Royal Navy acquired several East Indiamen, turning them into fourth rates, maintaining the confusion for military ships seeking merchant ships as prizes of war. In some cases the East Indiamen fought off attacks by the French. One of the most celebrated of these incidents occurred in 1804, when a fleet of East Indiamen and other merchant vessels under Commodore Nathaniel Dance fought off a marauding squadron commanded by Admiral Linois in the Indian Ocean in the Battle of Pulo Aura.
Due to the need to carry heavy cannon, the hull of the East Indiamen – in common with most warships of the time – was much wider at the waterline than at the upper deck, so that guns carried on the upper deck were closer to the centre-line to aid stability. This is known as tumblehome; the ships had two complete decks for accommodation within the hull and a raised poop deck. The poop deck and the deck below it were lit with square-windowed galleries at the stern. To support the weight of the galleries, the hull lines towards the stern were full. Ships built without this feature tended to sail faster, which put the East Indiamen at a commercial disadvantage once the need for heavy armament passed. According to historian Fernand Braudel, some of the finest and largest Indiamen of the late 18th and early 19th centuries were built in India, making use of Indian shipbuilding techniques and crewed by Indians, their hulls of Indian teak being suitable for local waters; these ships were used for the China run.
Until the coming of steamships, these Indian-built ships were relied upon exclusively by the British in the eastern seas. None sailed to Europe and they were banned from English ports. Many hundreds of Indian-built Indiamen were built for the British, along with other ships, including warships. Notable among them were Surat Castle, a 1,000-ton ship with a crew of 150, Lowjee Family, of 800 tons and a crew of 125, Shampinder, of 1,300 tons. Another significant East Indiaman in this period was the 1176-ton Warley that John Perry built at his Blackwall Yard in 1788, which the Royal Navy bought in 1795 and renamed HMS Calcutta. In 1803 she was employed as a transport to establish a settlement at Port Phillip in Australia shifted to the site of current-day Hobart, Tasmania by an accompanying ship, the Ocean. French forces captured Calcutta in 1805 off the Isles of Scilly, she grounded at the Battle of the Basque Roads in 1809, was burned by a British boarding party after her French crew had abandoned her.
The 1200-ton Arniston was employed by the Royal Navy as a troop transport between England and Ceylon. In 1815, she was wrecked near Cape Agulhas with the loss of 372 lives after a navigation error, caused by inaccurate dead reckoning and the lack of a marine chronometer with which to calculate her longitude. With the progressive restriction of the monopol
A stock exchange, securities exchange or bourse, is a facility where stock brokers and traders can buy and sell securities, such as shares of stock and bonds and other financial instruments. Stock exchanges may provide for facilities the issue and redemption of such securities and instruments and capital events including the payment of income and dividends. Securities traded on a stock exchange include stock issued by listed companies, unit trusts, pooled investment products and bonds. Stock exchanges function as "continuous auction" markets with buyers and sellers consummating transactions via open outcry at a central location such as the floor of the exchange or by using an electronic trading platform. To be able to trade a security on a certain stock exchange, the security must be listed there. There is a central location at least for record keeping, but trade is less linked to a physical place, as modern markets use electronic communication networks, which give them advantages of increased speed and reduced cost of transactions.
Trade on an exchange is restricted to brokers. In recent years, various other trading venues, such as electronic communication networks, alternative trading systems and "dark pools" have taken much of the trading activity away from traditional stock exchanges. Initial public offerings of stocks and bonds to investors is done in the primary market and subsequent trading is done in the secondary market. A stock exchange is the most important component of a stock market. Supply and demand in stock markets are driven by various factors that, as in all free markets, affect the price of stocks. There is no obligation for stock to be issued through the stock exchange itself, nor must stock be subsequently traded on an exchange; such trading may be off over-the-counter. This is the usual way that bonds are traded. Stock exchanges are part of a global securities market. Stock exchanges serve an economic function in providing liquidity to shareholders in providing an efficient means of disposing of shares.
The idea of debt dates back to the ancient world, as evidenced for example by ancient Mesopotamian city clay tablets recording interest-bearing loans. There is little consensus among scholars as to; some see the key event as the Dutch East India Company's founding in 1602, while others point to earlier developments. Economist Ulrike Malmendier of the University of California at Berkeley argues that a share market existed as far back as ancient Rome. One of Europe's oldest stock exchanges is the Frankfurt Stock Exchange established in 1585 in Frankfurt am Main. In the Roman Republic, which existed for centuries before the Empire was founded, there were societates publicanorum, organizations of contractors or leaseholders who performed temple-building and other services for the government. One such service was the feeding of geese on the Capitoline Hill as a reward to the birds after their honking warned of a Gallic invasion in 390 B. C. Participants in such organizations had partes or shares, a concept mentioned various times by the statesman and orator Cicero.
In one speech, Cicero mentions "shares that had a high price at the time". Such evidence, in Malmendier's view, suggests the instruments were tradable, with fluctuating values based on an organization's success; the societas declined into obscurity in the time of the emperors, as most of their services were taken over by direct agents of the state. Tradable bonds as a used type of security were a more recent innovation, spearheaded by the Italian city-states of the late medieval and early Renaissance periods. While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable government bonds, they did not develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fully-fledged capital market: the stock market in its modern sense. In the early 1600s the Dutch East India Company became the first company in history to issue bonds and shares of stock to the general public; as Edward Stringham notes, "companies with transferable shares date back to classical Rome, but these were not enduring endeavors and no considerable secondary market existed."
The VOC, formed to build up the spice trade, operated as a colonial ruler in what is now Indonesia and beyond, a purview that included conducting military operations against the wishes of the exploited natives and of competing colonial powers. Control of the company was held by its directors, with ordinary shareholders not having much influence on management or access to the company's accounting statements. However, shareholders were rewarded well for their investment; the company paid an average dividend of over 16% per year from 1602 to 1650. Financial innovation in Amsterdam took many forms. In 1609, investors led by Isaac Le Maire formed history's first bear market syndicate, but their coordinated trading had only a modest impact in driving down share prices, which tended to remain robust throughout the 17th century. By the 1620s, the company was expanding its securities issuance with the first use of corporate bonds. Joseph de la Vega known as Joseph Penso de la Vega and by other variations of his name, was an Amsterdam trader from a Spanish Jewish family and a prolific writer as well as a successful businessman in 17th-century Amsterdam.
His 1688 book Confusion of Confusions explained the workings of the city's stock market. It was the earliest book about stock trading and inner workings of a stock market, taking the form of a dialogue between a merchant, a shareholder and a philosopher, the book described a market, sophisticated but prone to excesses, de la Vega of