FIFTEEN YEARS AGO THERE WERE 10,000 TRADERS ON THE FLOOR OF THE CHICAGO MERCANTILE STOCK EXCHANGE. TODAY, ABOUT 1,000 REMAIN.

USA

Throughout the 1980s, traders would cram into the pit at the stock exchange in Chicago, USA, buying and selling millions of dollars of contracts every day. Sweating traders would scream for orders, shove rivals, stab them with pencils, and use a rapid-fire sign language called “arb” to communicate across the mayhem. 

“The equipment in those days would literally start smoking and burn up,” recalls Scott Wallach, a former broker on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. “The technology couldn’t keep up with us.”

 

 



From the pages of COLORS #85 - Going to Market.