Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pit Trading 101 film debut

The film Pit Trading 101 just got released by Jonathan Hoenig and is a wonderful piece of original content which was originally shot at the CME in 1996.  The footage is based upon a class taught by a group of traders that was essentially a one day boot camp on how a trading pit functions.  Captured in this film was how these potential future pit traders would learn the elementary signals, nomenclature, processes and then do a bit of a trading scrimmage in the actual Merc trading pits towards the end of the day.  My favorite part of the documentary however, was the various footage of the S&P pit at it's height before the e-mini contract drew liquidity away from the pit.

Jonathan is actually one of the students in the film and he mentioned that he only recently discovered the footage, which was never released elsewhere, so he took it upon himself to edit it professionally and create the documentary.  Amongst the other faces in the film, I recognized some traders who continued on the floor during my time at the CME, while for many this one day class would be their only exposure to open outcry trading. 

While it's really no longer possible to put these open outcry methods to use, all of you who didn't get the opportunity to work around the trading floors would really appreciate the introductory lessons which were taught in the film.  Imagine learning what's taught and then putting it to use with the maniacs of the S&P pit soon thereafter, it all still seems unreal that such a crazy environment existed and still functions today in a subdued manner.

Here's the trailer for the 22 minute documentary and I highly recommend spending the few bucks it costs to watch the entire video on demand either via Vimeo or Itunes

PIT TRADING 101 - full trailer from Jonathan Hoenig on Vimeo.

For those with further interest after watching Pit Trading 101, I also suggest to watch Charlie D.'s 1989 speech which elaborates on "why" to trade in the pit vs. the mechanics of "how" to pit trade which is covered in Pit Trading 101.  Getting an upload with better sound of the Charlie D. speech is something I'll finally get around to doing within a few weeks. 
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