After their recent acquisition of New York Stock Exchange for $9.53 billion, Deutsche Boerse has finally announced the company will now be called, “Deutsche Stock Exchange”. The name change, which has been a topic of speculation and opinion from the beginning, marks the chance to turn over a new leaf for some, and the end of an era for others.
Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, is one of those in favor of the name change.
“We feel changing the name will really help re-brand Wall Street”, he said during our phone interview. “With all the negativity surrounding the industry and slumping economic trends, this is a name change that is as necessary as it is exciting”.
When asked to respond to concerns about how the loss of the NYSE label will affect years of history and the culture surrounding Wall Street, Bernake responded with a laugh. “Have you been down to Wall Street lately? European is in right now. There are sling bags, leather jackets with big collars and skinny ties everywhere. If anything, this name change isn’t reducing American culture, it’s adding to it by becoming more en vogue.”
Skeptics of the name change not only disagree, but find it disgraceful.
“This is [expletive] bull [expletive] said Chuck Levi, a head teller of an M&T Branch located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. “The decision to change the name to some foreign mumbo jumbo proves that America is getting soft and that the people in charge would rather try to disguise it than fix it.”
According to Levi, his opinion is shared with most of his friends and business associates in the area. In fact, after the name change was made, Levi took it on himself to start a door to door petition campaign to reverse the decision and bought another gun for “added protection”.
“I might be the only one left”, he said, “But I’m not going down without a fight. If we don’t assert ourselves, what’s next? Selling Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company (M&T) to Kuwait and Middle East Financial Investment Company so they can change the name to ‘Muslims and Terrorists Trust Company’? Over my dead body.”
Interestingly, Reto Francioni, CEO of Deutsche Boerse, expressed a more neutral standpoint. During an interview following the press release, Franncioni said simply, “Ich denke, dass das ziemlich kühl ist. Ich habe eine Meinung jeder Weg nicht. Ich hatte nichts, um mit der Namenänderung zu tun. Ein Internierter traf die Entscheidung. Ich bin reich. Das bedeutet nichts zu mir.”
Translated simply: ‘I do not care. An intern made the decision. I am rich.’
So for now, even those who oppose the new name must accept it, as only time will weigh the consequences and benefits of such a monumental decision.
In related news, Bernanke’s controversial proposal to change the name of the U.S. Dollar to the “Americano” has been tabled until tensions regarding Deutsche Stock Exchange subside.
–Brett Jones, April 2011 for Finbox.com