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Half my life

This past week I had a personal anniversary which was worth celebrating, July 1st marked that I’ve spent exactly half my life in the futures industry since I began that day on the floor of the Kansas City Board of Trade in 1998.  Some might say that it means I haven’t had a real job my entire adult life and …

After the NYMEX close

Almost a year to the day that the Chicago futures pits closed, FT reporter Gregory Meyer wrote a great postmortem of the NYMEX trading floor and how the closure and electronic transition affected various participants.  Highly recommended to take the time to read it.   The article is paywalled so I’d also highly recommend a FT subscription if you don’t have …

Hand signals of the Western Canadian sawmills

I try to rarely stray from the topic of trading pit hand signals and history but will make exception in this case to highlight an interesting article on hand signals used by Canadian sawmill workers.  These industrial hand signals are classified as an “alternate sign language” and like those used in the trading pit, originated for functional use but evolved …

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

On rare occasions, some exchanges (mostly the Chicago Merc), embraced the spectacle which open outcry pit trading exhibited.  The above advertisement is one which the CME placed in a widely distributed Chicago’s visitor guide sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s to encourage visitors to drop by the exchange’s visitors gallery and view the trading floor themselves.  As typical …

Market Medic

Recent chaotic trading conditions in soybeans and interest rate futures, particularly on this past Friday, brought to mind that the CBOT had paramedics staffed who were actively called to the trading floor for assistance.   It says a lot about a work environment when paramedics are on the premises for almost daily medical emergencies!  The following snip from a Fortune …

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Potpourri

The tv show Jeopardy! was and remains on at 3:30 CST each weekday, so watching it was how many a trading day was spent closing out the last 30 minutes of the Globex session back when I used to have the tv on.  Since there are a few odds and ends to mention which I don’t want to put into …

Greatest futures broker in history (from a client perspective)

I was recently thrilled to get the business card of who can be considered one of, if not the greatest execution broker in the history of the futures trading industry….Nick Leeson of Baring Futures (Singapore) Pte Ltd. A lot of people would be puzzled for me to bestow that title upon a man who was known for rogue trading, however …