Business: Present and Future Shock

Among the nightmares that might disturb the sleep of any professional stock trader is the vision of seeing himself replaced by a computer. The fear is real, even if the prospect is not immediate. Computers could easily match buyers' bids and sellers' asking prices, record deals and make entries in the accounts —at least for routine transactions. On the nation's stock exchanges, however, securities are still bought and sold in face-to-face auctions, partly because of the entrenched interests of their members and the encrusted practices of history.

Quieter Bazaar. Last week a substantial...

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