End of an era: Open Pit Trading

by Rocket Finance

The idea of the open-outcry trading pit has always fascinated me. Millions of dollars being invested or divested in a blink of an eye – by seemingly a bunch raving lunatics. I always enjoy the beginning or the end of the financial news report when they show the closing bell at the New York Mercantile Exchange or the Chicago Board of Trade. It is a spectacle that I have always wanted to see in person.

I hope I get to see it.

The end of open cry trading is inevitable and well documented in the media. The trading pit is something that I always thought that I would eventually see, but it looks like that now I am going to have to go out of my way to make sure I get to see it before it goes away completely. Electronic trading is the norm nowadays – certainly more efficient, but not nearly as entertaining. I might have made a good out-loud trader, the trading pit scene is not unlike our dinner table growing up that included five headstrong kids with healthy appetites – those last two fish sticks were a valuable commodity.

This story from the BBC about the first man to trade oil at $100 would not have been possible without the technique of trading derivatives out loud.

I have to take a trip to Chicago to see open out-cry trading. Hmmm. . .now who can I get to watch our three kids so my wife and it can make the trip? Mrs. Micah?

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