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Market makers have existed for as long as 
stocks have been continuously traded. The 
business model was simple – buy low then 
quickly sell high or vice versa. If a market 
maker stopped earning sufficient profits 
in one stock he would switch to another. 
If things became too volatile, the market 
maker walked away altogether and waited 
for things to return to normal. In London, 
market makers (known as jobbers) can be 
traced back to the late 1700s. Over time, 
exchanges began to assign affirmative 
obligations to market makers – most 
commonly requiring that they provide quotes 
of a certain magnitude and for a certain 
amount of time each day. Some exchanges, 
such as London and NASDAQ, developed as 
competing market maker (dealer) systems. 
Others, like the New York Stock Exchange, 
developed as a monopolist market maker 
(specialist) system.