The gong

2008

The gong

In December 2002, the end of floor trading was affirmed with a stroke of the gong by Job Cohen, the then-mayor of Amsterdam. In early 2008, he came to Beursplein 5 for another stroke of the gong. This time, it was to reopen the floor. But it would no longer be home to wildly gesticulating, shouting traders; this time, it was meant for residing traders, who conducted their work from behind screens. At that moment, the idea was born that it would be nice to mark the opening of trade every day with a stroke of the gong. Since Cohen, numerous celebrities have had the honor of playing the leading role in the gong ceremony. The financial press and television regularly pay attention to it. The gong was also sounded before 2008, but not on a daily basis. Then, the gong only sounded for important visitors or when a new company was listed.

Opening trading with a sound signal is an old custom. The first Koopmansbeurs (Merchants  Exchange) of Hendrick de Keyser already had a tower with a bell that was sounded at the ‘start and conclusion of the market.’ The gong tradition, however, goes back even further to 1592, to be precise. That year, the Amsterdam city council tried to create order and regularity in trading, which then took place at the Nieuwe Brug, with the introduction of the first regulations. Rules of conduct, fixed trading hours , and a exchange clerk were introduced. At regular intervals, the exchange clerk sounded a bell to open the exchange. Whoever was late, was fined. Fortunately, this fine no longer exists. The gong tradition still does, as it has existed for over four centuries!