Photograph via Conde Nast Traveler
As a metonym, Wall Street is the symbol of the American financial sector. But the physical street was put into place long ago, and quite literally: the present day Wall Street marks the spot in lower Manhattan where the 17th century New Amsterdam’s settlement backed up against a wall. As for its financial roots: the area’s earliest traders used to gather under a buttonwood tree near the alleged wall to do their business. They eventually named their association the Buttonwood Agreement — the earliest iteration of the New York Stock Exchange.
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