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The Stock Exchange of Stock Exchanges

Members of the New York Stock Exchange are pressuring the Big Board to go public. Meanwhile, BusinessWeek calls on the NYSE to lower barriers to trading — suggesting that the NYSE stifles competition from electronic markets like Nasdaq.

Low barriers to entry and competition are largely good things. But I wonder: If a business’ success or failure is judged solely on its performance in the stock market — which isn’t always the best gauge — and that very stock market is also judged solely on its performance as a publicly traded entity, what does that mean for trading? For evaluating the value of organizations? For definitions of success?

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