The Wall Street-Main Street disconnect

May 20, 2010

A good indication of the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street is shown by the stock listings in the "Business Maryland" section. The list of most widely held stocks contains the names of businesses that many American know and have in their IRA/401(k) retirement accounts.

But that's not where the action seems to be on Wall Street. More than half of the stocks on the list of most active stocks have unintelligible names. For example, "SPDR Fncl XLF", "iShEMktsEEM," and "iShR2K IWM" are among the most active stocks on the list.

Perhaps one provision of the financial reform bill now moving through Congress could require that words be used for the names of stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange .

Francis J. Gorman, Baltimore

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