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End of session

I’m taking a sabbatical from the blog for a few months mostly because I’ll be out of the country for an extended period of time and also so I can focus on arranging some of the hand signal information in preparation for a self published book which hopefully will be out in a year.  See ya in April…

Electronic trading cards

When pit traders thought of automated trading, one of the early concepts was to use handheld terminals rather than cardboard trading cards and although an effort was made to convert traders to using them, it didn’t gain much steam.  The concept of electronic trading cards was developed shortly after the FBI sting so in 1990 the CBOT and CME began …

Spoo pit circa 1982

The above photo is from October 1982 and shows the S&P; 500 pit at the CME just months after launch of the contract earlier in the year on April 21st.  The Merc wasn’t the first to launch a stock index contract and was beat by the Kansas City Board of Trade’s Value Line contract by a couple months.   

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FBI Operation Sourmash and Operation Hedge Clipper

In the above photo is an undercover FBI agent, can you guess who?  I’ll give the answer at the bottom of the post.  In the 1986, the FBI began an investigation into corruption in the Chicago trading pits at the urging of commodity firm Archer Daniels Midland who helped hire and train some undercover agents.  At the CBOT the codename …

there are old traders and bold traders but none w/more style

 image from wikipedia While in LA to watch the Blackhawks and rereading Taleb’s books, I had a good laugh thinking of a friend and I’s discussion about our brief time working the phones on order desks at the S&P; pit when we first got to the CME.  The nine months I was a desk clerk it involved talking to Japanese …

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*updated* trading pits in New Orleans

photo credit: www.charlesmccain.com The New Orleans Commodities Exchange began it’s short run in 1981 before moving to Chicago to become the Chicago Corn and Rice Exchange in 1983 where it was subsequently absorbed by the MidAmerican Exchange (MidAm) in 1986.  There is very little mention of the exchange but Charles McCain wrote an article in 1981 which does a great …

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Another hilarious video

This video falls outside the blogs mandate of “trading pit history” but it’s so funny and the 255 views it has so far doesn’t do it comedic justice.  A couple things to know before watching, it pokes fun of the trading arcade scene in Gibraltar and gets the characters pretty accurately according to a friend of a friend who traded …