There’s been a handful of people from CME trading pits who went on to larger fame, perhaps most notably Mr Skin, but CME alumni also includes noted author Nassim Taleb who was registered as a floor trader for just under two years from 1991 to 1993. Most colleagues from the floor weren’t around during his time or were in other pits but I came across a funny comment on what he was like trading down there, although it’s accuracy can’t be vouched for. (I’m going to Lebanon in a week so was thinking of Taleb’s books)
I like Taleb’s basic theories but mostly because he thinks everyone else is completely full of shit. Others might simply call it skepticism but that’s too soft of a term. If there’s one characteristic amongst the good traders I’ve encountered is that they think everyone else is completely full of shit. No doubt there’s people who think I’m full of shit and that’s great because I think you’re full of shit as well. Somewhere in the reptilian brain, this characteristic has evolved to allow people to survive the markets because well…with rare exceptions everyone is completely full of shit, particularly in the financial industry. My belief is such an attitude is necessary to match wits against other participants and take the other side of trades to the point which the longer one trades, the more it’s reinforced.