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Framing FinanceThe Boundaries of Markets and Modern Capitalism$
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Alex Preda

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226679310

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226679334.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021

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Price Data, Machines, and Organizational Boundaries

(p.113) Chapter Four Close Up
Framing Finance

Alex Preda

University of Chicago Press

In the eighteenth century and during the first half of the nineteenth century, the trustworthiness of price data was inextricably tied to personal trust and authority. In their turn, these relied on bodily techniques like glances, hand movements, or attire, together with technologies of personal authority, such as letters. While some brokers-cum-authors developed abstract models of price behavior, others were interested in technical devices which could help record or predict price movements. Some were simply interested in using devices to keep outsiders away from price information. These interests made a far-reaching technological shift, i.e., the replacement of pencils and paper by the stock ticker. This chapter examines the context and consequences of the stock ticker. The ticker transformed the character of price data: a continuous flow of data replaced the rather unsystematic price lists. Trust was shifted from idiosyncratic knowledge of transaction partners to a machine which could travel across social contexts. New modes of attention and observation were introduced, which brought individuals together into price monitoring activities, in public places.

Keywords:   price data, machines, organizational boundaries, stock ticker, market actors, price behavior, price movements, transaction partners, price monitoring activities, personal authority

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