Trading in Chicago: Like Altamont, But More Fun!


Back in the day, before computers came along, working as a trader was fun. There were no MBAs, no dorks peddling codes, no sex perverts with whiteboard markers. Just a bunch of guys from the neighborhood, shouting and screaming and rubbing up against one another in nonhomoerotic ways as they made loads of money, and occasionally, got their faces ripped off. That’s Wall Street speak for losing a lot of money, but it also happened literally on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, according to a new documentary, Floored, which describes how a guy got his nose bit off by a fellow trader in the heat of the moment. “When you’re throwing around that kind of money, people tend to lose it sometimes,” one ex-trader explains. “Sometimes you’d drop all your trading cards and your pen on the floor, and you’d leave them there till the end of the day because you’d get crushed trying to bend over and get them.” But the physical danger was worth it, because at least they felt alive. “You were jammed like sardines, but alive and kicking.”

Trading-Pit Glamour Dims as Computers Ascend in Film [Bloomberg]
Floored [Official site]