Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Word Is My Bond

My Word Is My Bond was published over a couple years ago and presents an oral history of 21 participants at the CBOT.  It's a unique piece of reading which covers much of the history and development of the exchange through the perspective of various participants.  I was disappointed that almost all of those interviewed had links to brokerages or the exchange bureaucracy rather than what I consider to be the apex of the trading industry which is the independent speculator (local) whose earnings are solely reliant upon their trading rather than customer fees.  The book was published w/the cooperation of the CBOT so nothing too outrageous is discussed.

A DVD was also created alongside the book and the opening scenes is linked below:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NYMEX light sweet crude opening trading day

Here is a piece of memorabilia from the opening day of NYMEX's light sweet crude oil futures which is the most successful energy contract that's ever been listed.  On March 30, 1983 trading began and it seems that NYC Mayor Ed Koch rang the opening bell and in the second photo he autographed the program.

Drexel Burnham Lambert order ticket

Above is an order ticket from Drexel Burnham Lambert which came from one of their fixed income futures desks at the CBOT in the 1980s.  For dramatic effect, I took the scan and went into Paint to illustrate on what it'd look like once marked up.  In my example it's an order to buy 200 USZ (December 30year bonds) at a price of 99 31/32.  The executing broker is OPP and the counterparty is ABC who was filling the order for house 350 (Goldman) at 7:30am.  Above the order is a timestamp which always had to be done as an order went in.  Not bad, eh???  There is the top copy and then three duplicate carbon copies in back. 

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