Friday, February 25, 2011

Hand Signals of the London Trading Pits

Well folks, it's finally finished!  The fourth and final installment of the trading pit handsignal prints is finished w/the completion of Handsignals of the London Trading Pits which are based upon LIFFE handsignals.  The reason why this print took so long is that it was very difficult to get full confirmation of the accurate LIFFE handsignals but eventually these were sourced directly from LIFFE education materials.  As with the other prints, these were illustrated by Chicago based illustrator Mike Nudelman and are printed by Chicago based printer Dan Grzeca.  The price on this print and all others going forward is $200 + shipping and will be available in the shop as soon as some technical maintenance is done.  For anyone who was in contact prior to today about the London print, I'll honor the previous price of $100/print.  The London print is limited to a run of only 250 and all are handsigned and numbered by the illustrator.

Sorry about the price hike but this for it to be worthwhile to all parties, one was necessary and even at this price it's virtually a public service considering what other unique art costs.  

I'm still out of the country and don't have the prints in hand but should shortly.  Foreign buyers or any questions can email: tradingpithistory 'at' for further info.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Survivor CME edition

Just had a thought on how much trading volume goes on in the pit now so decided to check from recent days.  As mentioned I haven't traded in the pit for 6 years and only go to the trading floor a couple times a year so I truly had no idea.

I'm pretty unscientific so randomly pulled the daily sheets from the CME and present data from January 27, 2011 which is representative: overall CME Group (including the NYMEX floor) futures volume still has approximately 12% take place in the pit and the options volume is approximately 63% pit traded.  The contract I trade is less than 1% in the pit which is surprising.  If you want the contract breakdowns you'll have to click on the .pdf file linked on the date above. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Seeking Debrouillard

*update, I found a guy to do what I needed*

I'm riding out the great Chicago blizzard in Paris and as usual everytime I'm here my thoughts turn to one of my favorite books, George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and LondonIn Orwell's book, I first came across the term "debrouillard" and it made such an impression that I named my one man company after it years ago. 

"And yet the PLONGEURS, low as they are, also have a kind of pride. It
is the pride of the drudge--the man who is equal to no matter what
quantity of work. At that level, the mere power to go on working like an ox
is about the only virtue attainable. DEBROUILLARD is what every PLONGEUR
wants to be called. A DEBROUILLARD is a man who, even when he is told to do
the impossible, will SE DEBROUILLER--get it done somehow. One of the
kitchen PLONGEURS at the Hotel X, a German, was well known as a
DEBROUILLARD. One night an English lord came to the hotel, and the waiters
were in despair, for the lord had asked for peaches, and there were none in
stock; it was late at night, and the shops would be shut. 'Leave it to me,'
said the German. He went out, and in ten minutes he was back with four
peaches. He had gone into a neighbouring restaurant and stolen them. That
is what is meant by a DEBROUILLARD. The English lord paid for the peaches
at twenty francs each. "

That said, I've got a surplus of work that I don't seem to get around to doing after each trading day and would like to hire someone for things.  Duties would be to help organize some tradingpithistory stuff, assist getting a book going and then do a couple end of trading day things.  The job is more of a journey on the way up than a destination and right for the ideal person and wrong for everyone else since it's mostly grunt work w/an intellectual pursuit.  Pay wouldn't be much and there aren't benefits as it'd be hiring an independent contractor that'd get a 1099 form.  Requirements are simple: enthusiasm and interest in the project/markets, be based in the US and a "debrouillard."  Anyone interested can email me: tradingpithistory (at)  I'm not desperate for someone but just that it could be mutually rewarding for the right person and because it'd initially be a 6-12 month duty working remotely from a computer, it's probably best for a college student or someone just out of school (although I didn't go to college in all honesty).

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