Shop around the clock – The share paves the way to consumer society

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August 5, 2010 – Under the title of “Shop around the clock – The share paves the way to consumer society”, the Wertpapierwelt museum will open its seventh exhibition on Tuesday, 3 August. The exhibition highlights the importance of securities to the emergence and functionality of our consumer society and the significant role played by shares in our daily lives. The exhibition is designed to feel like a shopping center, thus connecting the share to the product. It features securities from approximately 120 companies, most of which you will recognize. The exhibition also highlights how shares also cross our paths when we would least expect it.

The idea that shares are something for speculators, the epitome of “casino capitalism”, has been reverberating since long before the financial crisis. The exhibition serves to remind us that shares are not “just” objects for speculation or investment, but were originally intended as financial instruments. As such, shares allow for the implementation of innovative ideas and confront us in everyday objects and situations where we would least expect it.

Consumer goods are available to most people at almost every hour of the day and products that used to be almost unattainable luxury goods are now commonplace in modern-day society. The emergence of public limited companies and the shares they issue has played a significant role in paving the way for this trend. Dagmar Schönig, curator of the Wertpapierwelt museum, says that “in criticizing capitalism, it is all too often forgotten that, above all, shares provide a company with the funding needed to create a marketable product out of an idea. It is only thanks to the use of shares as a financing instrument, and the investors who take a risk in buying them, that our current way of life is even possible.”

The exhibition concept has been designed to simulate the atmosphere of a shopping center. This creates the link between everyday products and the security with which the innovative entrepreneur has financed his or her business idea. The “shopping center” shows just how important shares are to the emergence and functionality of our consumer society. We come across them all day, every day from childhood until old age. If there were no shares then refrigerators, televisions, cars, PCs, entertainment electronics and all sorts of other everyday objects would barely be affordable. Several information stations provide details on, for example, the differences between public limited companies and cooperatives or about the attitude of young people towards brand names. Around 120 securities from the Wertpapierwelt museum collection will be exhibited. Further securities can be accessed from the museum’s database during your visit.

Wertpapierwelt, Baslerstr. 90, 4600 Olten, Switzerland; Tel. 0041 / 62 / 311 6622, Email:
Open Tuesday and Wednesday 9.30 – 5.00.

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