How to Build a Stock Exchange

How to Build a Stock Exchange


Latest Episodes

Episode 12. ‘The High Temple of Capitalism’
November 02, 2019

Some stories incarcerate, others emancipate. This episode explores the founding of the London Stock Exchange’s junior market, AIM. It follows the narrative of UK plc, exploring how it shapes the Exchange’s actions.

Episode 11. UK plc
October 08, 2019

In 1995 the London Stock exchange set up its junior market, AIM, an engine for UK plc. This episode explores how the narrative of entrepreneurial Britain brought this new market into being. That’s how the story goes, at least.

Episode 10. Where real men make real money
September 17, 2019

Stories shape our world, and stock markets are no exception. This episode explores the entanglements of fiction and finance, from Robinson Crusoe to American Psycho. We discover how Tom Wolfe cut a deal with Wall Street, making finance male,

Episode 9. Finding prices, making prices
June 28, 2019

What’s in a price? This episode sets out to answer that question, via Joseph Wright’s Experiment on a Bird in a Pump, the construction of the London interbank lending rate, and some ruminations on the nature of fact. As for why it matters,

Episode 8. Wires!
June 14, 2019

Modern stock exchanges couldn’t exist without wires. They are virtual, global, infinitely expanding. Their trading floors are humming servers. But no one ever planned this transformation, and it took many by surprise.

Episode 7. The New Deals
June 02, 2019

1980s Wall Street was as inventive as it was ostentatious. New kinds of deal turned the relationship between finance and society on its head: collateralized mortgage obligations made homeowners into raw material for profit,

Episode 6. The decade when greed became good.
May 17, 2019

We can’t make sense of contemporary stock exchanges without understanding the huge changes that swept through finance in the 1980s. This episode explores those upheavals at the level of states and markets, and the of lived reality of Britain’s markets:...

Episode 5. ‘Mind your eye!’ Rules and rituals in the markets
May 02, 2019

Social interactions – rules and rituals, norms and codes of practice – are the glue that holds a stock market together. This was especially so in the open outcry markets of the twentieth century. The episode looks at the strange societies of Chicago’s ...

Episode 4. Pickles, public schoolboys, and the business of financing start-ups
April 18, 2019

This episode takes an anecdotal wander through the business of financing start-ups. Our guide is Sixtus, an old-Etonian who imported ‘business angel’ investing to the UK. Along the way, I’m waspish about public schoolboys, perceptive about pickles,

Episode 3. On Brexit and borrowing: the entanglements of markets and state.
March 29, 2019

From King William III’s empty coffers in the eighteenth century to David Cameron’s ‘big, open and comprehensive offer’ in the twenty-first, penniless governments have had to go cap in hand to the markets. Stock exchanges have always been on hand to hel...