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Stukje Wikipedia over Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation :
Established in 1973, The Depository Trust Company (DTC) was created to alleviate the rising volumes of paperworkand the lack of security that developed after rapid growth in the volume of transactions in the U.S. securities industry in the late 1960s.
Before DTC and NSCC were formed, brokers physically exchanged certificates, employing hundreds of messengers to carry certificates and checks. The mechanisms brokers used to transfer securities and keep records relied heavily on pen and paper. The exchange of physical stock certificates was difficult, inefficient, and increasingly expensive.
In the late 1960s, with an unprecedented surge in trading leading to volumes of nearly 15 million shares a day on the NYSE in April 1968 (as opposed to 5 million a day just three years earlier, which at the time had been considered overwhelming), the paperwork burden became enormous. Stock certificates were left for weeks piled haphazardly on any level surface, including filing cabinets and tables. Stocks were mailed to wrong addresses, or not mailed at all. Overtime and night work became mandatory. Turnover was 60% a year.
To deal with this large volume, which was overwhelming brokerage firms, the stock exchanges were forced to close every week (they chose every Wednesday), and trading hours were shortened on other days of the week.
Two methods were used to solve the crisis:
The first was to hold all paper stock certificates in one centralized location, and automate the process by keeping electronic records of all certificates and securities clearing and settlement (changes of ownership and other securities transactions).
The second method involves multilateral netting; and led to the formation of the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) in 1976.