Prime Minister May-be
New York City is not only the world's financial capital, it is also where the independent press was invented by one Peter Zenger. The busy port was the source of newspapers and other information coming from across the Atlantic on prices of stocks, bonds, and commodities.
The founding fathers were active supporters of economic growth, notably Alexander Hamilton, who before starring in a musical was the author of the Report on Manufactures in 1790. New York founded the first American stock exchange under a buttonwood tree in 1792. But Wall Street only really got going in 1825 when the Erie Canal was opened, linking the NY Harbor with the west.
Initially daily broadsheets covered stock trading, with closing prices input by hand. But in a New York moment, things soon sped up. By 1844 the telegraph was invented and financial information was available instantly. The closing Wall Street prices could be input into ticker tape machines which delivered the codes to banks and brokers all over the country. Ticker tape parades celebrated heroes and warriors until the tape became redundant.
During the Great Depression even more information became available to investors, like Fortune, founded in 1930 by Henry Luce, and its rival, Business Week, a favorite of my father's when I was a kid, and where I got my first journalistic job. In the economic crisis people also turned to the radio which reported on stock markets at the end of the day.
With the abundance of news, fake news, and false news on the internet today's financial news is virtually free of charge, but not necessarily without cost to those who believe what they read. That is why I am so tough on web advisories which quote supposed analyst notes backing short sellers. Shorting is legal but spreading false news is very dangerous to your wealth and should be controlled better by publishers and consolidators of stock advisories like marketbeat.com which can cause havoc. It is distributed by my broker (because it is free) and repeatedly writes up fake bad news about a company we own.
Today Theresa May belatedly fulfilled one of my predictions, by calling an election in Britain for June 8. However she did not take up my suggestion that the vote be treated as a second chance to remain in the European Union. My UK national husband will insist on being in London to vote, and I will go with him. Germany's foreign minister said that the vote “can lead to more clarity and predictability in negotiations with the EU.” It may also offer Britons a chance to reconsider the whole Brexit move.
Sterling rose to $1.266 against the dollar and London stock crashed. Under new rules Parliament must vote 2/3 in favor of an earlier poll than the next one slated, for 2020. The Labour party indicated it would back the June vote but Scottish nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon warned that the vote might give the Tories a stronger majority and lead to cuts in social programs.
In my list of disasters caused by errant computer programs I did not include receiving an updated 1099 from my stockbroker by internet notification April 14. (I asked for it to be mailed as it is too late to change what was filed yesterday.) I don't think this really was the fault of computers, but in fact the fault of E-trade's cost-cutting zeal keeping human beings out of the process until it was too late.
More for paid subscribers follows today from Britain, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Belgium, Australia, Panama, Sweden, South Korea, and China.