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Mr. GRUBB. Only when we see the possibility that a market can arise and should be there, for the purpose of the investing public.
Mr. WADSWORTH. Do these foreign securities include foreign government and municipal securities?
Mr. GRUBB. Yes. I think that the answer to that is yes.
Mr. GRUBB. They are on the stock exchange; most of those are on the stock exchange.
Mr. WadSWORTH. They are on the stock exchange?
Mr. HUDDLESTON. May I ask, Did you say that all securities traded in on the exchange must be listed?
Mr. GRUBB. Yes, sir. One form of the securities is formally listed, according to our requirements, and our requirements in that respect are very similar to those of the stock exchange.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. You say one form? Mr. GRUBB. Yes. Another form is what we call unlisted securities, which I explain very fully in this brief that I am coming to.
The question is often asked, "What are 'unlisted securities'; what does it mean when a security is 'admitted to unlisted trading '?' The purpose of this review is to attempt to answer these questions in an endeavor to bring about a more accurate understanding of certain of the functions of the New York Curb Exchange and particularly of its so-called "unlisted department."
The officers and governors of the exchange are frequently surprised at the amount of misinformation or the entire lack of any information which exists with respect to this important department. This is not the result of anything inherently difficult about the unlisted department or of any concealment of the facts by the exchange; but is due, so it is believed, in part, to a general impression on the part of the public that there is something mysterious in the technical machinery and operation of security markets, and, in part, to lack of interest, particularly in good times.
Of late, much criticism has been leveled at security markets, including markets on the recognized exchanges. No doubt some of this has been justified, although, so far as affects the exchanges, it may be noted that most of the charges, in connection with recent disclosures have been against outsiders who have attempted to misuse exchange or other markets, rather than against the exchanges or their members as such. The exchanges have made mistakes, but it is a matter of comment that with all the evidence of dishonesty or of overreaching disclosed, no proof has been brought forth of misconduct by the exchanges themselves.
This exchange, in common with others, has been criticized for certain practices; but, for the most part, these criticisms apply to alleged manipulation, pools, and trading practices generally and are not affected by any differences between "fully" listed and "unlisted" securities. So far as the unlisted department or securities therein is concerned, practically no criticism has come from the investing public. The objections received respecting this department, very generally, have been from competitor markets, or, in some instances, from
officials of certain companies whose securities have been admitted to unlisted trading.
These objections are considered in this review, the primary purpose of which, however, is to state the origin, purpose and activities of the unlisted department and to show the need which it fulfills.
Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I am going to skip this paragraph on page 2, and all of page 3, down to the second paragraph on page 4, because it is merely a repetition of what I have already said in the first brief.
The government of the exchange is vested in a board of governors
The CHAIRMAN. I want to call your attention to the fact that you have 1 hour and 45 minutes, and if you undertake to read all of this paper, I doubt whether you will get through, if the members want to ask any questions; but you may proceed in your own way.
Mr. GRUBB. I am sorry, but this is all very vital to us, sir, and I would like to proceed as far as I can go.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. May I say this in that connection?
Mr. HUDDLESTON. You are reading so rapidly that we do not follow you.
Mr. GRUBB. I will endeavor to read more slowly, sir.
The officers of the exchange consist of a president,a vice president, and a treasurer, each of whom must be a member of the board of governors and a secretary, a first assistant secretary and such other assistant secretaries as the board of governors may see fit to appoint.
The work of the exchange is carried on under the supervision of 14 standing committees of the board of governors and by two subsidiaries, the New York Curb Exchange Realty Associates, Inc., and New York Curb Exchange Securities Clearing Corporation. Among the standing committees is the committee on listing, consisting of 20 members. The work of this important committee in turn is divided among 5 subcommittees, consisting of 5 members each, as follows: Special subcommittee on foreign securities, special subcommittee on formal listing, special subcommittee on investment trusts, special subcommittee on unlisted securities, and special subcommittee on bonds.
The exchange maintains a listing department under the supervision of the secretary of the exchange and two assistant secretaries. This department has a staff of employees whose duty it is, among other things, to assist the committee on listing and the subcommittees in the examination of applications for admission of securities to "full” or formal listing and to "unlisted” trading. The department also has the assistance of a firm of certified public accountants.
As heretofore indicated, two major classes of securities are traded in upon the exchange--"fully listed” securities, which are admitted upon the application of the companies issuing the same, and "unlisted” securities, which are admitted upon the application of a regular member of the exchange; himself a stockholder of the company in question.
It is not the intention here to consider at any length the securities falling in the first category. An application of a company for formal listing is accompanied by a full disclosure, over the official signaturo of the company, of facts deemed pertinent for a study of the securities sought to be fully listed. The requirements for full listing call for substantially all the information specified in the requirements of the New York Stock Exchange.
The New York Curb Exchange is, generally speaking, a primary market in respect to its "fully” listed securities. These securities largely represent new companies in which there is the hope, based upon the nature of the enterprise, the personnel of its officers and its capital structure, of successful development.
The so-called “unlisted securities with which this review deals primarily are admitted upon an entirely different theory and fulfill a somewhat different economic need. Such securities are never those of new or newly formed companies, but are of companies which have been in existence for a substantial number of years and with respect to which there exists a public record of their history and financial condition and a public market.
Technically speaking, "unlisted securities” are those which are not listed upon any exchange. As pointed out by Mr. J. Edward Meeker in his instructive book, The Work of the New York Stock Exchange, many brokerage and investment firms operate extensive "unlisted departments”, dealing in securities whose only market is "over-the-counter" in New York or by arbitrage in outlying cities. The number of securities traded in in this way, or in less organized markets, is difficult to estimate, but it is safe to say that the volume of trading in securities off or outside any exchange has been and still is very considerable.
All securities traded in upon the New York Curb Exchange are officially listed by sanction of the governing authorities whether traded in “fully listed” or so-called “unlisted.” In the case of “fully listed” securities, the admission to the list is upon the application of the company issuing the same, while in the case of "unlisted" securities, the listing is upon the application of a regular member of the exchange.
Even in the years when the members of the New York Curb Exchange were still functioning on Broad Street, or on "the curb", the practice prevailed of admitting to dealing; that is, to unlisted trading, securities for which a market existed in New York other than on the New York Stock Exchange. There were then and always have been sound securities in which an active market existed in New York which were not, for one reason or another, listed upon the New York Stock Exchange. These were, generally speaking, issues which were all distributed. Market quotations accordingly were, as a rule, immaterial to issuing companies and there existed no reason for the company itself ot incur the trouble and expense of obtaining formal listing. There were, however, a public ownership and interest and the need to owners of a market. Such securities, therefore, came to be traded in upon the curb exchange which became even then the recognized market for the securities dealt in there.
At the present tire 355 stocks and 19 bonds are fully listed and 1,069 stocks and 620 bonds are traded in "unlisted" upon the New York Curb Exchange. The trading in these latter securities constitutes the most important business of the exchange.
The name "unlisted securities" is somewhat misleading as from it many persons imply that the securities referred to are selected without any care or investigation whatsoever. The requirements for admission to unlisted trading will be referred to hereafter but at this point it is desired to call attention to the fact that, as a whole, this group of securities compares favorably with those listed upon any other exchange. The bond list, particularly, which is almost entirely made up of unlisted bonds, is deserving of critical comparison,
On July 1, 1929, out of a total number of 476 bond issues admitted to unlisted trading, three issues were in default on interest payments. On November 1, 1933, out of a total of 643 bond issues admitted to unlisted trading, only 83 issues (including 18 certificates of deposit representing underlying bond issues in default) were in default. A study has been made of the stocks which were admitted to unlisted trading on July 1, 1929. At that time there were 1,509 issues, excluding bonds admitted to unlisted trading. Of these 981, or 65 percent, were dividend-paying. On December 31, 1933, there were 1,144 stocks admitted to unlisted trading of which 477 were dividendpaying, or 42 percent.
The major market in so-called “unlisted securities” which exists today upon the New York Curb Exchange came into being for the most part, not because of any artificial stimulation, but because a real need existed for such a market. Indeed, the tremendous development of the New York Curb Exchange would have been impossible had the need not existed and if the need had not adequately been fulfilled by the service rendered by this market. No doubt this growth was aided by the fortunate location of the exchange in the largest financial center of the country and by the extraordinary growth and expansion of business activity which took place in the years following the World War. But more important than all else was the fact that there was a need for such a market which was met by the facilities afforded by this exchange.
The facilities of the New York Curb Exchange are exceeded only by those of the New York Stock Exchange itself. The quarters occupied by the exchange are modern in every particular. Its trading room, which extends five stories in height and which has an area of 20,023 square feet without a supporting column to break up the space, is one of the largest in the world. The ticker service, equipped with modern high-speed tickers, is Nation-wide and its Clearing Corporation, modeled on that of the New York Stock Exchange, provides the latest and most efficient facilities for the clearing and settlement of security transactions. Moreover, the exchange has had the cooperation of the New York Clearing House banks, many of which make their funds available at the money post on the floor of the exchange and of the financial community in general, which has come to recognize the substantial position it occupies in our national economy
As stated earlier, the securities admitted to "unlisted trading” are seasoned securities; that is to say, they are securities of companies which, for the most part, have been in existence for a substantial number of years and whose financial career is a matter of public record. It is not pretended that the information available to the exchange is as detailed or complete as the information obtained in the case of fully listed securities.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. Mr. Grubb, may I interrupt to get a situation clear?
Mr. GRUBB. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. Do your rules permit that securities be listed on the Curb Exchange which are also listed on other exchanges?
Mr. GRUBB. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. That would apply to the New York Stock Exchange also?
Mr. GRUBB. No.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. In other words, if listed on the New York Stock Exchange, they could not be listed on the Curb Exchange?
Mr. GRUBB. You see, I think the reason there is, you have a market in New York, sir; and for that reason we could not do so.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. But am I correct in that?
Mr. GRUBB. I do not think that there is any rule to that effect; not that I know of.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. Neither exchange has such a rule?
Mr. GRUBB. No, sir; I beg your pardon, the New York Curb Exchange has a rule prohibiting dealing in stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. But has the New York Stock Exchange such a rule applicable to the Curb Exchange?
Mr. GRUBB. No, sir.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. Do you permit of trading in unlisted securities which are also listed on the stock exchange?
Mr. GRUBB. No, sir.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. In other words, a security listed on the stock exchange which is not listed on the Curb Exchange, may not be traded in on the Curb Exchange?
Mr. GRUBB. You are correct, sir. On the other hand, the information actually available is deemed by the exchange adequate to protect an investor. The New York Curb Exchange early recognized the importance of this market not only to its members but to the public at large. Shortly after the reorganization attendant upon its going indoors in 1921, a special committee was appointed, whose function and duties were to admit to unlisted trading, upon the application of a regular member of the exchange, securities which passed the examination of the committee.
The requirements for admission to unlisted trading have naturally developed and become more stringent as experience showed the need.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. May a dealer, or a broker, be a member of both the Curb Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange?
Mr. GRUBB. Yes, sir.
Mr. GRUBB. Yes, sir; the rule was early made that no security would be admitted when the company issuing it had less than 2 years' experience. Financial statements had to be published in Poor's, Moody's, or other reliable standard publications of a statistical nature, or an authoritative statement; that is, from official sources, had to be furnished to the committee. The application for admission of a stock had to be presented by a regular member of the exchange, himself a stockholder of the company whose securities it was sought to list. The committee examined the company's