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Historical Briefing: Stocks, Finance and Money

The World Bank claims that some two billion of the world's citizens live on $1 per day or less! That fact absolutely shocked me. With this statistic in mind it becomes important to focus on all of the things that have served as money over the history of civilization. Aztecs used Cocoa beans, Norwegians used Butter and dried cod, many Indian tribes used animal skins and some of the early colonists used grains. It's worth thinking about this the next time you pick up your paycheck. The word "salary" is derived from the word SALT, which is what was the key currency of the North Africans for hundreds of years. SALT was a key commodity substance used for preserving food.

A butter and dried cod banking system? Reconciling your monthly bank statement must have been very messy!

I'll take bear markets for $100 please Alec!

Anybody want to guess how we came to describe and define a BEAR market? Well, there is a debate on this one as most people feel that when a Bear makes a killing its claws move from up to down. However, bear markets are bone-chilling experiences. Markets always fall much faster than they rise! Anyway, the word "arctic" is derived from "arktos" which just so happens to be the Greek word for "BEAR!" And that is how it is believed that the word BEAR came to describe a declining market. Brrrrrrrrrrr..

Now you know!

Ok, why the heck do they call it Wall Street anyway?

It was the Dutch you see. They had just moved to Manhattan and had nowhere to build a dyke, so instead they built a wall. This was in 1653, and it wasn't meant to keep water out, but was made to keep out the British and Indians. Easy enough for the Dutch, just a 12 foot high wood stockade that ran from river to river.

Then in 1685 they laid out Wall Street along the line of the stockade.

Now you know.

These days the average volume on the New York Stock Exchange is several hundred million shares. We have even seen numerous days when the volume exceeded over one billion shares. To give you an idea of how far we have come, the last date on record when the New York Stock Exchange traded less than one million shares was October 10, 1953. The very first day that the BIG BOARD traded over one million shares was December 15, 1886. On Black Tuesday, the BIG CRASH on 10/29/29 the market established Record volume of 16 million shares!

Now you know.

Gosh! One Billion Shares a day....that's a lot of dried cod!

Harald Anderson

Harald Anderson is the founder and Chief Analyst of eOptionsTrader.com a leading online resource of Options Trading Information. He writes regularly for financial publications on Risk Management and Trading Strategies. His goal in life is to become the kind of person that his dog already thinks he is. http://www.eOptionsTrader.com.

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