Carnegie Mellon University
The Amex Statement.pdf.pdf' (172.25 kB)

The Amex Statement

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journal contribution
posted on 2001-07-01, 00:00 authored by Allan MeltzerAllan Meltzer

There are a number of places at which I disagree with Mr. Kolton and his colleagues at the American Stock Exchange but before launching into criticisms, I want to thank him for providing the clear and forthright statement of his views. My task would have been more difficult if he had been less candid and less clear.

The central issue, as I see it, is the type of market place we are going to have. Economists and businessmen agree that the market system yields important benefits that are worth preserving, but often agreement ends there. The benefits that appeal most to businessmen are the profits that can be made; often they are willing to defend monopoly as a means of increasing profits. To economists, profits are only a means to an end. The goal or end is an allocation of real resources that corresponds to consumers desires as expressed by actual or desired spending. The features of the market system that appeal most to economists are the increase in efficiency, the elimination or reduction of monopoly profits, the increased benefits received by consumers, and the increased opportunities for choice.




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