La Communication Par Signaux Manuels – MATIF

Occasionally I come across a historical open outcry reference which gets me really excited and this is one such document which was provided by Mr. Dean Mouscher.  When the Paris futures pits of MATIF were created, there was a demand for logistical training of how hand signals would work on the trading floor and the new Paris exchange sought to emulate the physical lexicon of the Chicago pits.  Mr. Mouscher was a CBOT pit trader who was fluent in French, so he was enlisted to assist in the training of hand signals in Paris and also tasked with improvising new signals as necessary for the local market.

Recently, he rediscovered the following 30 page training materials which describe and illustrate the hand signals that were utilized by MATIF at inception.  As the French always create even something as simple as these documents with artistic flair, some text was printed in reflective silver font on glossy paper which created some inconsistencies as I was scanning them into PDF.  I’m very grateful that Mr. Mouscher was willing to share these documents so they would not be lost to history!

MATIF Trading Pit Hand Signals Guide – La Communication Par Signaux Manuels

Additionally, to get a sense of what it’s like to learn these signaux en Français, the early 2008 French tv drama Scalp had one scene where an aspiring clerk was taught the basics and the scene starts at 40:54 (which I can’t set it at on an embeded link):

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