May 17 - 1792 - The Buttonwood Agreement
In 1792, in the early years of the Republic, a group of stockbrokers made a mutually beneficial agreement, wherein they would only trade with each other and charge a standard commission. Known as the Buttonwood Agreement, because they met under a Buttonwood tree, it provided the foundation for the New York Stock Exchange. How did the financial center of the universe develop from a gathering under a tree? What does the Buttonwood Agreement tell us about the arc of history? That and much else is attempted to be answered in thsi episode.