The effort of Jewish interests to gain control of the Stock Exchange is also an interesting story, and although the record shows a steady Jewish gain toward the end they desire, it is slow; but there are indications that the relentless persistence for which the Jew is noted, will prevail in the end—that is, if stock gambling continues to prove an alluring source of wealth.
When the Jews gain control of the Stock Exchange they will, for the first time, possess the power to wrest public banking control from the non-Jewish group.
There is a silent resistance to Jews on the Stock Exchange also, in virtue of an unwritten law, just as there is in the banking world of Wall Street, and the story of the counter-resistance calls for an historian.
It is related by Sereno S. Pratt that in 1792 there was a little office at No. 22 Wall Street for the public sale of stocks. A number of men, engaged in the business of buying and selling, were accustomed to meet near a large buttonwood tree which stood near 68 Wall Street. In 1817, the New York Stock Exchange, about as present constituted, was organized.
The Stock Exchange is a private institution. It is practically a commission club in private hands. It is not incorporated.
Its membership is strictly limited to 1,100 men.
There are only two ways by which an outsider can become owner of seat on the Exchange—by obtaining it from the executor of a deceased member, or by purchasing from a retiring or bankrupt member.
These memberships or seats cost at present more than $100,000. About ten years ago a seat could be bought for $77,000.
The Stock Exchange is ruled by a Governing Committee of 40 members. For many years no Jew was elected to this Committee. Of recent years, an occasional Jewish broker has succeeded in being admitted to this upper group, but not often. This position, however, has not been the main objective of Jewish traders. When they secure a sufficient number of seats on the Exchange, they will take care of the matter of control in their own well-known way.
The two barriers which at present operate to prevent a large inroad of Jews are these: first, a silent resistance on the part of the other members against the