Thursday, December 20, 2012

12-Year-Old ICE Picks Up 220-Year-old NYSE for $8.2 Billion

Iconic Big Board Loses Independence as Derivatives Eclipse Equities 

How quickly the world turns. Read all about it.

The folks at NYSE have read the electronic writing on the wall….

Anyone remember the American Stock Exchange, aka The Curb?

No matter. We're living in a world of ever-accelerating change (Future Shock) and wholly disruptive technological breakthroughs and advances, with the Internet (and the World Wide Web, the Internet subset that enveloped and became synonymous with the Net) being the prime example. So, an upstart exchange can practically come from nowhere and buy NYSE Euronext in a deal that recalls AOL's acquisition of Time Warner.

But AOL, which essentially consumerized the corporate private data business for pre-Internet home computer users, used inflated stock to buy the world's largest media company. The dopes running Time Warner had no clue that the Web had already transformed the Net in ways that made the AOL model obsolete.

Which is almost certainly not the case with ICE. Its business appears to be more robust and in tune with the times than the NYSE business. ICE's acquisition of NYSE is truly about the future buying the past.

It seems that anything is possible in this new, topsy-turvy universe. Will a renewable energy company--a company that proves it can commercially produce, say, green gasoline, or green (bio-) coal--one day buy a big oil and gas or coal company? Will chemical companies morph into energy and fuel companies?

Maybe. Time will tell. And the times are indeed interesting.

Related: Click here to read about ICE's meteoric rise, "a tale for the computer age."