The Traders: Inside the World of the Billion-Dollar Gamblers of America's Financial Exchanges
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
An inside look at the high-stakes trading floors of major financial exchanges and the men and women who hold the chipsSonny Kleinfield spent months with individual traders on five of America's biggest financial exchanges. The investors he followed are the ultimate gamblers, trading only for themselves, not for clients, and sometimes going "all in" on stocks, options, and, ultimately, their own futures. These mavericks display a unique intensity and a savage brand of competitiveness. Acclaimed reporter Kleinfield gets inside their minds and worlds, showing what drives them to a stressful, high-stakes profession.From the trading floors of the New York Stock Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Commodity Exchange Center, and American Stock Exchange, Kleinfield delivers a riveting portrait of a dying breed of go-for-broke entrepreneurs. Readers feel the frenzied excitement of the brokers and traders, and gain access to a risky, adrenaline-charged world where fortunes come and go in a single moment.
always a fraction of what the stock itself would be trading at. It’s established according to the volatility of the stock, the duration of the option, and the demand in the marketplace. In a typical instance, it might cost you five hundred dollars to buy an option on a hundred shares of a thirty-dollar stock. There are both “call” options and “put” options. A call gets the buyer the right to acquire the shares at the assigned price, which would typically be higher when the option is “written”
as you enter the Amex building is the members’ lounge, a small and somewhat ratty chamber that contains a chattering Dow Jones ticker against the far wall, battered stand-up bookshelves crammed with Standard & Poor’s stock directories, paintings on the wall depicting the exchange’s formative days, several soiled couches and easy chairs, and, more often than not before the day’s trading begins, several slumbering traders. (The conversation among those who are conscious is not always directly
exuberant, aggressive, opportunistic, unflappable, quick on his feet. “You can’t be a boob and make it in this business,” ran a cautionary remark I was to hear. So I set out to find and talk to and spend some time observing a core sampling of this ragtag breed to see what they were like and how they saw and practiced their odd and harrowing calling. Like the casinos along the strip in Las Vegas, the trading floor is a culture of connivers, dreamers, losers, and winners. It is a world of people
floor entrance is equipped with shiny machines that dispense cellophane-wrapped sandwiches, potato chips, pretzels, and a miscellany of beverages. A trader can buy his lunch off these walls. Many do, slouching into the automatic-vending-machine room and depositing their dimes and quarters, giving more thought to whether to go for the tuna sandwich or a corned beef than they seemed to give to betting thousands on March hogs rather than April pigs. I go over and buy a can of root beer. Sucking the
guys shouldn’t be down here. They have limited bank rolls and so they’re scared money. You shouldn’t trade with scared money. If you trade with scared money, you don’t have two guesses. If you’re wrong on the first guess, you’re gone. Bye-bye.” “Forty-five for November. Forty-five for November. Forty-five for November.” Schwartz is bidding 95.45¢ per gallon for a lot of November heating oil. Nobody bites. A man to Schwartz’s right, however, offers an October lot for twenty-five, and Schwartz