The number of publicly listed U.S. stocks peaked at a record 7,562 during McGwire's record-setting summer of 1998, according to the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index. Today, there are just 3,812.
So what gives? Simply put, there are more companies disappearing than entering the stock market.
This isn't a trivial problem that only matters to bankers on Wall Street. Not only do investors have fewer options to invest in, but it directly impacts American jobs.
"We're shrinking the stock market. Unless we figure out how to create a lot more startups and a lot more IPOs, the economy is going to continue to generate jobs at lower rates than it should," said David Weild, former vice chairman at Nasdaq who has testified in Congress about capital markets.