"It has been said that the business of business today is government. And while that may overstate the case, the business of dealing with government has become, at the very least, a mainstream activity of business."
- January 19, 1978 "A Conservative Approach to Radical Change" – Remarks by William M. Batten, New York Stock Exchange to a meeting of the Section of Banking, Corporation and Business Law of the New York State Bar Association
The New York Stock Exchange was not shy about protecting the system, nor about fighting proposed changes that it feared would seriously damage the profitability of member firms.
NYSE Chairman William Batten, borrowing the revolutionary metaphor, called for "a conservative approach to radical change." In a speech to the New York Bar Association Section on Banking, Corporation and Securities Law, Batten lamented the "ever-expanding web of government regulations" which he said had made corporate legal practice "one of the nation's liveliest and most consistent growth industries."(34) He detailed the dual history of the NYSE and SEC study of the creation of the central market system, and discussed the role of Congress in adopting the plan.
Batten questioned the SEC's capability to design a system that would be efficient, competitive, and that would strengthen the securities industry. The SEC, he suggested, ought to allow the system being developed by the exchanges to "evolve" gradually, and that the government in the guise of the SEC was ill-equipped to design and build a national market system. What Congress and the American people needed, he said, was a national market system, not a "nationalized market system" and the exchanges were steadily working toward that end.(35)
(34) January 19, 1978 "A Conservative Approach to Radical Change" – Remarks by William M. Batten, New York Stock Exchange to a meeting of the Section of Banking, Corporation and Business Law of the New York State Bar Association
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