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Financial Centres and International Capital Flows in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries$
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Laure Quennouëlle-Corre and Youssef Cassis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199603503

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603503.001.0001

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The Battle of the Bourses?

The Battle of the Bourses?

Competition between Stock Exchanges in the Twentieth Century

(p.15) 2 The Battle of the Bourses?
Financial Centres and International Capital Flows in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Ranald C. Michie

Oxford University Press

Located at the heart of every major financial centre stock exchanges provide the interface between the money and capital markets. The key role that they played provide a means of studying the degree and nature of competition between financial centres and how it varied over time. What this reveals is the limited degree of competition that existed before the First World War, with only a few stock exchanges doing an extensive international business. The repatriation or repudiation of these during the First World War removed even this area of competition, while the restrictions placed on international financial transactions between 1918 and 1945 did much to compartmentalize market. It was only slowly that a degree of competition emerged after 1945 and it was greatly delayed for stock exchanges as they were used by governments to regulate national securities markets. Beginning in the 1970s the liberalization of international financial transactions and the deregulation of national markets once again permitted competition to take place. Driven by advances in computing and telecommunications technology the result was to challenge the incumbent position of stock exchanges around the world. Nevertheless, though transactions could now take place a 1000th time faster than the blinking of a eye location still mattered. Time was of relative not absolute importance and so closeness to an exchange still mattered, so bolstering the ability of established financial centres to resist competition from emerging ones.

Keywords:   exchanges, securities, stocks and bonds, companies, markets, London, Paris, New York, Tokyo

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