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“One week this summer, the Nasdaq stock market listed five recent initial public offerings, including Sonos, the home-audio company, and Vaccinex, which makes a promising cancer drug. That same week, an investor looking at Nasdaq’s Listing Center would have seen the names of 16 stocks set to disappear. The reasons for the delistings varied. Synchronoss Technologies, a software company, had failed to file financial reports since February 2017. Abaxis, a veterinary-diagnostics firm, was being acquired by Zoetis. Capella Education was merging with Strayer Education (both operate for-profit schools).
The week was representative of the past two decades. In 1997, during the dot-com boom, there were 8,884 companies listed on U.S. exchanges, primarily on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, the number has been cut by more than half. The pace of decline has been gradual, unaffected by the dot-com bust, the financial crisis, or subsequent recoveries. A two-decade chart showing the number of public companies looks like a slide at a children’s playground, slowly but surely going down.
Should we be concerned? Stock-exchange officials certainly are. Last year, Thomas Farley, then the head of the NYSE Group, said the drop “may severely limit [companies’ opportunities] for economic growth, hiring, and wealth creation.” Earlier this year, in her introduction to a white paper, Nasdaq’s CEO, Adena Friedman, warned that if the trend continues, “job creation and economic growth could suffer, and income inequality could worsen as average investors become increasingly shut out of the most attractive offerings.””
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The biggest topic in British political circles on Monday wasn’t the country’s impending departure from the European Union. It was milkshakes..."
"I often disagree with Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., but I've been disturbed by the idea that he should be run out of the Republican Party just because he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses."
"The Icelandic band Hatari, whose members are quite vocal in their animosity towards Israel, held up Palestinian flags... Madonna, likewise, had two of her performers wear Israeli and Palestinian flags on their costumes."
"To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, I turn to movie critic Roger Ebert's old review of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." (Trust me on this one.)"
"The money is already here—and has been for years. In the midst of a housing crisis, an injection of cash into the superheated real-estate market seems likely to cause an uptick in evictions and displacement."
"Parents concerned about YouTube debate whether to let their children have their own channels; some forbid it, others send them to summer camp..."
"‘I Had Completely Lost the Knack for Staying Alive..." Warmer weather brings daffodils, rhubarb at the farmer’s market — and, for some, despair."
"With his new book, Howard Stern proves that his rightful place is among the prophets and moral visionaries, not the ‘shock jocks’"
"I’m terrified of parenting in the anti-vaxxer age: Anti-vaccine propaganda isn’t just harmful to children. It threatens to erode our entire sense of community."
"...doctors are starting to think more about specific nutrients that feed tumor cells. That is, how what we eat affects how cancers grow..."
"...it represents an impressive achievement: a victory of humankind against the chaos that pervades the universe."
"If trends continue, in 20 years the majority of the world’s Jews will be living in Israel. The United States will see a continuing decline in overall numbers, with a growing observant Jewish population..."