Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ethics classes

One result of the FBI sting was that traders were required to attend ethics classes at the exchanges because I guess enough people didn't have the moral compass to know between right and wrong (shocking). 

This 1990 NYT article describes it a bit further Traders to Get Ethics Classes

But to add a little visual for those who'd like a refresher, a CBOT member of that era dug out some old videos he found and uploaded them recently to youtube.  The first couple videos are incredibly dry but the third is worth embedding because it has some great vintage footage of the bond room rockin!  The third vid also focuses entirely on sexual harassment which isn't too surprising that a third of the ethics education had to deal w/preventing that.

CBOT Floor Ethics Training from 1999 (1 of 3)

 CBOT Floor Ethics Training from 1999 (2 of 3)

At the CME, there was also an ethics class I remember taking as a clerk which was taught by older members.  The only thing I can recall of it was that we were warned of taking 'freebies' of any trades or favors because, in the loudest voice the member teaching it could muster, "BECAUSE THEN THEY'LL HAVE YOU HOOKED AND YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO SAY NO!"  For those that grew up in the 80s/90s will remember that the D.A.R.E. program also preached the same thing, free drugs to get you hooked.  Turns out I never saw free drugs or free trades, guess it took looking for them first. 

"Peter Vogel" trading card

An interesting piece of memorabilia in my collection is the trading card of Peter Vogel which was the alias of FBI special agent Dietrich Volk during the undercover sting in the pits during the late 1980s.  When news of the sting was announced, a fellow trader in the same pit grabbed some of his cards as a memento and that's how I ended up with this one.   A few years ago I posted a bit more detail on the sting and the link to it is here:    FBI Operation Sourmash and Operation Hedge Clipper

I'll go ahead and repost the photo though which shows VOGL in the lower left corner standing in the pit

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

General Wainwright at the CBOT

click to enlarge

The exchanges always made a tradition of inviting military officers to the trading floor and pictured above is when the CBOT was honored to host General Jonathan Wainwright in 1949.   General Wainwright was the commander of Allied forces in the Philippines and surrendered to Japan at Corregidor due to overwhelming circumstances.  If any of you visit the Philippines, I highly reccomend a visit to Corregidor to see the massive fortifications and tunnels which the US and then Japanese built on the island.  

General Wainwright served as the highest ranking POW in that theatre and subsequently received the Medal of Honor for his service.  Upon return to the US he received quite a reception as shown below in the youtube vid but also managed to enjoy a well deserved cigar in the CBOT pits!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Final closing bell of the KCBT June 29, 2013

Like the 1960s, if you remember it then you weren't there.

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