In the IGCSE Syllabus for Economics we have the following:

describe the functions of central banks, stock exchanges, commercial banks;

This post addresses the second of those financial institutions listed, stock exchanges.

First, this entertaining video produced in 1952 for a US audience does a good job of explaining how a stock exchange works:

This video from the mid 1990s shows how the New York Stock Exchange had moved on from the 1950s – what do you think are the main differences?

Then, if you have time, see how interconnected the world’s stock exchange markets are today when crisis hit in 2008 as a major investment bank in Wall Street was suddenly taken off the world finance market as it filed for bankruptcy (find out what that phrase means). Two news clips introduce the events …

A major crisis like this had happened before. For the historian in you, this documentary clip summarises the 1929 Wall Street Stock Market Crash …