Tuesday, June 25, 2013

There's a pretty ridiculous auction going on in London of five Andreas Gursky photos today, the five photos have a combined estimate to be auctioned at 2.5-3.4 million GBP! 

artdaily.org has a good summary of the auction
Most important collection of Gursky "Stock Exchanges" to be offered at Sotheby's London

and the official Sotheby's listing is here
Andreas Gursky Stock Exchanges A Private Collection

It's kinda funny because when I started at the CBOT as a phone clerk, the managing director made comments that I "should be on the other side."  Obviously 14 years later it's apparent that he should've meant the other side of the visitor's gallery shooting photos of trading floors rather than the trading side grinding out ticks, assuming risk to the shirt on my back and being a 33 yr/old man w/the insides of a 90 yr/old due to stress.  Let me reiterate what this auction is offering, five photos of trading floors for five million dollars!

In regards to the Blackhawks Cup win

One thing I meant to point out earlier is that the opening montage has the Blackhawks skating through the remnants of the CME trading pits as the exchange was the lead sponsor throughout the year.  As great as the video is on youtube, it's exponentially better on the pregame jumbotron in the dead of winter at the Madhouse on Madison.  Although Texas is home now, I still keep Blackhawks season tickets which make the trips back up to Chicago during winter tolerable.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Last week of trading on KCBT floor

photocredit: kansascity.com

The KCBT trading pits will close permanently this upcoming Friday and put an end to the trading floor which has existed in some form or another in Kansas City since 1856.  This exchange holds a lot of memories for me as I started there as a clerk literally 15 years ago to the date it's shutting down and for sure I'm going be there for the final bell.   Hopefully the Peanut stocked enough booze for the crowd afterwards.

Pretty amazing that with KCBT closing there's only two open outcry futures trading floors left in the world, in Chicago and New York (I don't consider the LME to be a proper one).

Trading Places background detail

photocredit IMDB

Hard to believe that the movie Trading Places is 30 years old this year!  A COMEX clerk from the era wrote in to share a little background on the filming,

"NYBOT/ICE likes to claim the movie was filmed there because it was about
orange juice but in fact it was made in the gold pit on Comex. All four NY
exchanges shared space at 4 World Trade Center and the gold pit was the
biggest at the time. Comex badges are green and you can see them predominate
in the live action footage and on all the actors. As a reference, the
Cotton/OJ badges were orange, the Coffee, Sugar, Cocoa badges were light
blue, the Nymex yellow and those who had seats on all four were gold. In the
film you can see a booth number which was in the Comex quadrant and several
Comex officials were thanked in the credits."

The picture below illustrates his points

photocredit: oddculture.com

MATIF colors

click to enlarge

Last week I was briefly in Paris and I remembered to finally post this photo which former MATIF member Fabien Danis submitted a while ago.  The photo is of a shirt printed up by someone on the floor which illustrated all the jacket colors of each trading firm, as modeled by Bart Simpson. 

The Bourse de Commerce where the old MATIF trading floor was located is currently undergoing continued renovations and has largely lost it's purpose ever since the exchange went electronic.   The interior and exterior are gorgeous (except for the homeless people sleeping on the steps this last visit (no, I didn't ask which pit they filled orders in)) and the only trading venues which could compare in ornate beauty are the prior CBOT buildings.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

April 14, 2000

click photo to enlarge

All the people in the photo didn't realize it at the time but that day of Friday April 14, 2000 was the day the stock market's tech bubble ended.  To get an idea of how wild the move was, here's a news story from that day

NEW YORK (CNNfn) - U.S. stocks plummeted Friday, capping off five days of stunning losses that handed the Nasdaq composite index its worst weekly performance of all time and the Dow Jones industrial average its steepest one-session point loss in history.

 The Dow tumbled more than 600 points, trouncing the previous record and triggering circuit breakers at the New York Stock Exchange. The sell-off gave the Nasdaq its biggest point loss of all time, topping the last No. 1 plunge set just five days ago.  But the statistical standout could be this: the Nasdaq fell more than 25 percent this week, trouncing the 19 percent fall that began Oct. 21, 1987, Black Monday.

The Nasdaq composite index shed 355.61 points, or over 9 percent, to 3,321.17, its biggest one-day decline on record. At one point during the trading session, the Nasdaq was down 411 points. The index lost over 1,000 points this week and is now off more than 34 percent from its record high set March 10 - well beyond the 20 percent decline Wall Street sees as the beginning of a bear market.

I'm in the photo in the blue jacket in back on the phone which was in the midst of my 9 month order desk stint at Nomura before moving to start trading under a group of locals at the Merc.  In front of me were the two guys on headsets doing Dow/S&P arb (7 Dow to 2 S&Ps I think it was then) and to my left in the black and red were the guys at Shatkin, behind Paine Webber in the green jacket.  A lot of great and sometimes funny memories come back from finding this photo.  The guy on my right headed the desk and he was a great, aggressive broker.  What always cracked me up was when some institutional desk would call up and ask what's going on but if he didn't know, he'd feed them the biggest line of BS like "yeah First Chicago's index arb has been coming in buying dips while Goldman has been consistent sellers and locals are following their lead so the pit is short at the moment."  Right after hanging up he'd flash a big grin my way and tell me that I should never tell them I don't know something and make up flows if so cause it's all BS anyways.  LOL
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