Commentary

Elaine Wah

Modern Markets, Modern Metrics - A Blog By IEX

In this blog by IEX's Elaine Wah, the newest public exchange looks to refute public claims that the metrics it uses are designed to inflate its own volume numbers and mislead people.

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August 31, 2003

Floor Brokers Save Thousands in Fees

By Editorial Staff

Independent floor brokers just got a break at the New York Stock Exchange. A technology fee that stirred up plenty of controversy last year has been suspended through the end of December. Still, in a memo to brokers, the fee is expected to be re-instated in January.

Some see the move as an olive branch extended by NYSE President Richard Grasso. Whatever the intent, the move was welcomed by two-dollar floor brokers. That's because, for some brokers, the fee has resulted in a crushing burden, as much as $750,000 more in annual fees, according to many independent floor brokers.

Some independent shops were reporting that, because of the charge, their technology expenses were running as much as some $63,000 a month. The charge has led to their exchange fees rising by about 45 percent to 50 percent.

Floor brokers were gloating over their victory, but they weren't giving too much credit to Grasso. They also complained that the move comes because Grasso's recent woes over the past few months have made him more vulnerable. Grasso was criticized in the press recently over the size of his compensation package.

The Big Board declined comment.