Another selection by Bob Levi.

With the world stock and commodity markets becoming extremely competitive due to electronic trading, the top management people at various exchanges and trading boards throughout the U.S. decided to investigate a unified trading site. So the officers of all the U.S. stock exchanges and commodity trading groups met to discuss the situation.

Representatives came from the large exchanges — the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Board of Options Exchange. Even the smaller exchanges were represented, including the Philadelphia and Arizona Stock Exchanges, the Kansas City Board of Trade, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, the NY Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange and the Seattle Mercantile Exchange. They decided to contact various covered sports arena owners to discuss the consolidation of the different stock exchanges and commodity boards from around the country. It was felt that housing all of these entities under one roof could result in certain economies of scale and make the individual operations more competitive.

The Chairman of the Seattle Mercantile Exchange spoke up and suggested that they contact the owners of the Seattle Kingdome. He advised the meeting that King County owns the stadium and he’d like to meet with the County Board to discuss the possibility of the planned consolidation.

So a meeting was arranged and the proposed plan discussed. One of the King County Commissioners couldn’t understand the concept of housing the various stock exchanges and commodity boards under one roof. When it was explained to him that the Europeans have similar arrangements, he stated, “Of course, of course, my Kingdome for a bourse.”

Side note: Bourse is actually pronounced “burse” (as in purse). But how many people know that? Perhaps most Americans would pronounce it as rhyming with horse, which is the idea in the first place. [Combs’s note: in local stamp collecting activites (and probably in my ignorance), I have always thought it rhymed it with horse.]

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