Seventeen master of finance students travelled to NY City with PennState Great Valley faculty to visit the New York Stock Exchange and get behind-the-scenes insights from its staff. The tour began with an overview by a staff member and a visit to the exchange floor where the group meet with dedicated market makers (DMMs) who provided some fascinating insights into their role on the exchange and differentiated the from those markets with 100% electronic trading. The DDMs take an active role at the open and close, set prices at those times, as well as have the ability to intervene anytime during the trading day when necessary. One DDM made the analogy to flying a plane, where the pilots take control at take-off and landing then rely on automatic pilot except when there are unusual situations. DDMs are also responsible for handling especially large orders, which must be broken down into smaller trading blocks to prevent such a large order driving down the price. Other sights of interest on the floor of the exchange included the CNBC broadcast center.
After the visit to the exchange, the group enjoyed a lunch at the Millennium Hilton Hotel in a dining room overlooking the World Trade Center site. In the afternoon, the group proceeded to the Federal Reserve of New York for a self-guided tour of the museum, which included a number of interesting exhibits related to federal functions, such as the design of currency to prevent counterfeiting and supervision of the banking system.
The trip provided an excellent opportunity for the students, particularly the international students, to observe firsthand how some of the financial institutions in the United States function. In addition, it allowed for networking among the students, faculty and staff, further strengthening a sense of community and support for this growing program.
— Story courtesy of Karen Duhala, Ph.D., accounting and finance
— Photos courtesy of Bo Ouyang, Ph.D., accounting