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Forbes: 10 Memorable Events That Closed the NYSE

Paperwork Crunch (June 12, 1968 to Dec. 31, 1968)

Wall Street needed Wednesdays off in the late 1960s. By 1968, the NYSE found itself sitting on more than $4 billion in unprocessed transactions. Trading had risen to 21 million shares daily; by contrast, even in the heavy volume days in 1929, trading never went above 16 million shares. Papers stacked up on desks. A (now old) joke formed: If a fan blew the wrong way in a Wall Street office, visitors below could expect a ticker-tape parade."Everybody agreed that the securities-processing system had virtually broken down, and the only major point of dispute was who was more responsible for the mess: the back offices of the brokerage firms of the stock-transfer agents," Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Ray Garrett, Jr. said in 1974. Some 100 broker-dealers failed, crumbling under the pressure of fulfilling those back-orders. The fix: an organization akin to the FDIC, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

(AP Photo)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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