What is a simple explanation/definition for stock markets? How did they generate economic wealth? Thanks!
Stock is ownership in a corporation. You can buy stock in Apple Co. If Apple Co does well your stock is worth more to others to buy thus needs market to sell on. . . the stock market. The Stock Market is perceived wealth and can plummet at any time.
The SM was formed as corporations were formed. Corps do not have one individual owner and can take on a limited liability if they struggle. Thus Apple is owned by stock holders. If Apple goes out of business, those stock holders do not need to pay back debt. Thus thus thus, if is beneficial for a corp to have limited liability so it can take risks such as building large railroad systems!