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Creating a stock exchange for bonds

Among all the many new online marketplaces for trading, issuing and offering research on bonds, none is as ambitious in its scope as BondBook, the alternative trading system launched this summer by Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Salomon Smith Barney, which Deutsche Bank also joined in September, as a founding equity partner.

It’s not just the scale and power of its founding members that make BondBook stand out, so much as its apparent determination to alter the entire structure of the bond markets. BondBook may have filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission as a broker dealer, but that’s a legal and regulatory nicety. Make no mistake: it aims to be an exchange for bonds.

Pellicane: addressing market structure issues

“This is not ‘let’s trade bond dot com,’” says co-chief executive officer James Pellicane who before taking on that role headed the fixed-income businesses of Merrill Lynch’s direct markets group.

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