Stock exchanges aren’t what they used to be. You can tell just by stepping onto the floor of the most powerful one in the world, on Wall Street in New York.
At the start of the century, the New York Stock Exchange employed about 5,000 traders to execute all orders. Today, the only finance professionals who work in the landmarked space also do double duty as extras for bell-ringing ceremonies and programming on CNBC, which leases some of the space. In reality, most of the action of the NYSE, by far the world’s largest exchange measured by market value, happens at its data center across the Hudson River, in Mahwah, N.J. Data centers in New Jersey house the majority of U.S. stock trading activity today.