STOCK MARKET, venerable institution dating back to antiquity. Originally, animals were led from the stockyards to the marketplace, where they were then sold for breeding or consumption.
There are differences and similarities to the modern day stock market. Corporations are now generally sold instead of live animals, which means that they can be divided into convenient pieces beforehand as the bloodshed is largely figurative. The phenomena of sudden stampedes and embankment plunges, however, are still very much alive in the modern version.