Controlled Chaos in the Trading Pit – SIN Trade.config

What is Trade.config?

The Trade.config series goes inside the minds of traders to learn their strategies, preferred tools, habits and mindsets for success – to download their “configuration file”.

Each Trade.config post is an interview with a top trader. Our goal is to give all traders the benefit of each others’ experiences. After all, there isn’t enough time in the day (and money in the account) to make every mistake yourself.

No part of this piece is financial or investment advice, and all opinions shared within belong solely to the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Cryptowatch or any associated entities. Full disclaimer here.

Trader Pseudonym: SIN

Trading Style:   Scalping and Long term trend following
Assets Traded:   Commodity futures and crypto
 Time Trading:   Decades
 Monitor Size:   A single 37" curved widescreen

Given SIN’s experience as a pit trader (for gold and natural gas futures) and writing trading models for his own commodities trading firm, we decided to eschew the traditional set of Trade.config questions in favor of a more freeform discussion focused on stories from the pit and general trading wisdom.


SIN gets his name from his badge in the old trading pit.
Not far from the truth

How did you get started in trading? 

It was pretty simple – a family friend of mine invited me down to the commodities trading floor and my eyes lit up. I thought to myself, one day, this is what I have to do. There are a lot of differences between then and now. Now everything is 24 hours – at least back then we were blessed with an opening and a closing time. So the stock market closed at 4, stock market futures closed at 4:15. When I traded gold in the trading pits we started at 8:20 and ended at 2:30, and then when I traded natural gas it was from 10:00 to 3:00. So now it’s all basically 24 hours because it’s electronic – they’ve got about an hour break during the day. 

I based my trading in the pits off of our candle charts – but they are not useful the same way in crypto, because you’re artificially imposing something that doesn’t necessarily exist when we first created candle charts – an open and a close. Weekly candles are a great example: in crypto, the start date is arbitrary – TradingView starts on Monday, Cryptowatch can start on Monday or Thursday – but doesn’t the week really start on Sunday? Or close on Friday? 

So when I got into trading, it’s really funny to say there was more structure, and yet I was in a trading pit where it was just a bunch of guys screaming and yelling. And it was, it was chaos. It was controlled chaos when you went down to the trading floor. It took two weeks of watching before you actually believed that anybody could trade, because there’s all these people just waving their arms and screaming at the top of their lungs. Often eyes locked when a trade was made but sometimes one guy was actually trading with the person behind the other guy, so we’d have to settle this error, which could cost thousands of dollars. 

Back then we wrote our trades on a trading pad, and when you wrote it, there were a couple of copies. So you’d give a copy to your clerk, and they would go to the other guy’s clerk, and they would match the trades. Then we got computer matching, where, at the end of the day, they would give you these computer runs of all the unmatched trades. 

There was one period when the silver market was going nuts – it closed at 2:25. So then you would go check trades – you knew there were errors, so you waited for the computer runs to come down. It was so busy, the computers were overloaded and even though the market closed at around 2:30 we didn’t get the runs until like 10 o’clock at night. So basically the bell rang and you were closed, but there were over the counter markets around the globe that were open, like Australia, and they could just rip you off blind. 

Through all of that, my eyes continued to light up – commodities were the thing. 

grayscale photo of Wall St. signage

Where else did you work in your trading career? 

So my first job on Wall Street was at Bear Stearns – they obviously went under during the recession in 2007. My second job was at a specialist firm on the New York Stock Exchange – they essentially don’t exist anymore because the New York Stock Exchange floors is more of a TV set than anything else at this point, where they just show some guys not trading. Then I finally made it to the commodities floor. First I went to COMEX, the commodities exchange that had metals, where I traded metals. Then NYMEX, where I traded natural gas.

What was the psychology of the trading pit like? 

Yeah, so trading in the pit was much more like a poker game than trading is today. The thing about crypto is it’s very hard to find any information to trade off of – it’s all sentiment. So people look at charts… charts are just the manifestation of other people’s decisions, but when you were in the pit, you were watching them make those decisions. 

It was more of a poker game than anything, because if you’re at a poker table, you’re watching your opponent, and most of the time you’re watching your opponent even more than you’re watching the cards. You can win with a pair of twos against the guy who’s got a royal flush if you can just convince him that you’ve got four aces and a wild card, right? So in the pit a lot of it came down to bravado, trying to stick your chest out and go, “No, no the market is going up,”  “Sell all you want we’re just going to keep buying.” Then there were other guys that it was constantly their game to try and have a very small position and convince you that they had a bigger one. 

The pit was broken up into three types of people. There were guys that were like me trading for themselves – every day I went in and every day I went home, and I was richer or poorer, that’s it. There were days that I busted my ass, worked up a sweat and had all this stress, yet I went home with $10,000 less than I had when I woke up that morning. There was no altruism. I wasn’t working for anybody, I wasn’t working for customers. All I wanted to do was go in there and make money. 

Then there were the guys that were brokers, they were doing customer orders. If you wanted to trade gold, if you wanted to trade natural gas, you had to go through them and the reason that they bought a seat was so they had direct access to the exchange, so your order had access. Just like you put a limit order on an exchange today and your limit order sits there electronically, they had a stack of paper, or a big cardboard board with pencils, stuff written on it, so they could erase it when you canceled and replaced your orders. So they had what they called the deck, which was just a stack of orders. 

And then there were guys that did both. What they would try to do is bluff when they were trading for themselves and convince you they were trading for the customers. So if you knew one guy was trading for JP Morgan occasionally and buying maybe 500 lots each time on their behalf when it was dead, that trader might bid for 200 lots when he had 20 lots of his own on, and you’d be convinced that the smart money was going that way. He always took the risk that if Goldman Sachs just wanted to bury him, they’d come in say, “Sold” and all of a sudden he’d be stuck with a position 10 times bigger than he really wanted. 

So that happened, and what we do is dance with the rules; if I said, “I’m 10 bid”, and I didn’t put a number of contracts on it, I could just tell you I wanted one contract. So you’re getting all worked up thinking you’ve got this customer order but I could just say “Nah, man, I don’t really want to do that. I’m just talking my position.” So if you just bid without a number of contracts, we put in rules where you had to accept a minimum position. So in gold, it was really slow – you had to buy one contract. If I was like, “10 bid, 10 bid!!” as if I want to buy the world and you go “Sold” then I could say yeah, one lot. 

Natural gas was more volatile, and people really needed to get their orders done and get size off, so the minimum was five lots. Now natural gas moved in tenths of pennies. So if natural gas moved a penny, one contract made $100. So if you’re one bid at two and somebody sells you at one, then buys a two, bam, just like that you made a $100. There was a lot of that going on with single contracts until the five lot rule. The minimum you would make or lose just bluffing somebody was $500 – like going to the $500 table at the casino, you were playing with professionals. 

The NYMEX trading floor

People didn’t realize when they came into the pit to trade that you were either gone in a week or you were there for a long time. Because you were either built for it, you could handle all the bullshit that people would throw at you – all the insults and all the threats and all the other shit that came at you – or you couldn’t. You could either deal with actually risking real money constantly, all of the time, or you couldn’t.

If you lasted longer than a week or two, you became part of the club, the family, and people would look to make sure that you didn’t go out of business. We helped each other out. 

How did the exchanges make money?

So the exchanges made their money by selling their real time data to the people who wanted to trade against it. There was a fee to execute orders, but that’s not where they made their money. They made their money on enabling all the people that were sending their orders to the brokers, enabling them to get price discovery.

concrete building with USA flags
Front of the New York Stock Exchange

What was the most money someone made in a day in the pits?

So there’s a legendary natural gas futures spread that comes when there’s a lot of weather events and predictions that set the tone. So this guy had a position in those probably larger than anybody else combined, and then he had all these other positions relative to if that moved a certain way. Basically the entire market flipped and all of his positions went exactly the way he wanted them to go – he made millions in a day, can’t say exactly how much.

So, he would set up this trade every year, and just got lucky that year?

Yeah, he played with really long term contracts. Thing is, the further away from the current delivery that you got, the more volatility there was because there were less people trading. Like when you start trading stuff, 5-10 years out from delivery, you’re really talking to oil companies, right? 

In fact, the reason that Southwest Air exists as successfully as it does, is because way back in the day when crude oil spiked to $140 a barrel or whatever, they had hedged all of their jet fuel prior to that, so whereas all these other airlines got smoked trying to be able to afford to fly the jets, Southwest was able to maintain their fee structure. They locked in jet fuel when oil was at something like $40 a barrel and oil more than tripled in price. 

If you were able to be positioned correctly in these far out deliveries, it was like having a front row seat to Beyonce at Madison Square Garden for a surprise concert announced that day. You can sell those tickets for whatever you want. If you had the right positions in these far out “back” months, as we call them, you could basically take a bid and offer spread that’s 50 cents wide in the front months and make it $20 wide. If someone had to buy it, they bought it from you. And if they had to sell it; they sold it to you, period, and end of conversation. That’s how people really leveraged the living shit out of markets that were already leveraged. 

What was analysis like back then in the pits, other than reading people’s faces?

To me, I drew my charts, I did them by hand. I went home at night, and I updated them on a daily basis, 90% of people didn’t. Of that 90%, 10-20% believed charts worked, they just didn’t know how to do them. Another 10% weren’t really sure they worked but wanted to know what other people were thinking about them. So as somebody who did charts, I was valuable to a lot of people because they would seek me out to ask me where my support and resistance was, where I thought the trend was.

Charts were used traditionally in commodities for a long time but in the pit itself, we pit traders were the casino so we didn’t really care where the market went as long as it could be bought on the bid and sold on the ask. But to me I saw the value in knowing which side to lean on, meaning if I thought the trend was up, I would be more aggressive buying than I was selling. I think that people who tried to learn more about the markets than just the simplicity of the pit oftentimes just kept getting reinforced with the history of charts and commodities. Even if they didn’t have the information necessary to do it themselves because they’d rather go to the golf course every afternoon. 

My analysis was also based on the fact that I thought I needed a different edge – I wasn’t six feet tall, so I attempted something the other guys didn’t, and to me it was just a bias and an opinion about a place where I thought the market would stop running and moving and things like that.

So you mostly used basic support and resistance?

Basic support and resistance, because there weren’t a lot of derivatives – RSI and whatnot – that I was doing by hand. I also had a really good mind for remembering numbers, and so basic support and resistance of places where markets stopped six months ago stuck out in my head, so I would use that a lot as well.

What were the order types available to you? 

We had market, limit, stops, stop limits, and other certain types of orders, some of which exist today, that brokers had the discretion to take or not take. For example, we had orders that would end in “not being held,” where you would essentially say “I trust my broker.” So I’ll give my broker this stop. And if he sees everybody else’s stop going at the same time, and the market just moves so far away, I’m not going to hold the broker to immediately execute as soon as possible as a market order. 

You’re putting trust in the broker – if he thinks from his experience in the pit and having seen this umpteen times before that he’s better off not executing the fastest he can, I’m not going to hold him to a time and sales print to try and do better for me. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes a broker is really doing the best thing for his customers sometimes he’s helping out his buddy who’s kicking back a portion to him in cash in the bathroom or sending his family to Disney.

So today we can see the entire order book on most exchanges – did that exist in the pits? 

Just the bid and ask. But the thing that blows people’s minds’ right now is the concept of sending people to jail for spoofing – for putting in a bid that they don’t really want to buy.

That’s all anybody did in the pit. They bid for 100, they might want to buy five or nine, but they really want to sell you 50 lots on the back end, and that’s what we did all day long. We were talking our positions. 

And the fact is that somebody who spoofs who puts that order in for a split second to buy 10,000 shares, if your bot is faster than his bot and nails him on those 10,000 shares, he’s stuck with them. It’s no longer a spoof – it’s a fucking trade. So to shut people down for this just means that you haven’t figured out how to take out of the system what is getting really bad publicity. People have been doing this for years. 

What drives your trading decisions?

What drives my trading decisions is when I’m going to get out. I think getting in is easy, I think getting out is hard. In developing trading models or discipline, the hardest part is managing your emotions, and that fear and greed only come into play when you already have money on the table. So getting out was way harder than, “Do I think it’s going to go up or down?”, and so I make my trading decisions focused on how well I think I can quantify my exits before I try and work on the entries, because there’s plenty of setups. 

I’m a momentum trader, so I can find any number of excuses or reasoning that will set up with my general perspectives on how I want to trade setups today. How I’m going to get out is what’s going to actually determine whether I make or lose money on the trade or in the long run – so that’s what’s hard.

What’s the best lesson that you learned from another trader on the floor?

The best lesson I learned from another trader on the floor was kind of “money is money.” There was a guy who when I first got into the pit who had been around for a while and I had a great amount of respect for him. 

One day somebody offered one contract basically one tick under the bid in the market, which meant that there was $10 of free money being provided, and I didn’t say buy it. And he turned to me and he said, “Well, why didn’t you buy that?” And I go, “Well, it was one lot. It was a tick”. And he goes, “Let me ask you a question, if there was a $10 bill on the floor, would you pick it up?” And I said, “Well, yeah” and he goes, “Well, you didn’t”, and so one of the most valuable lessons I learned in the pit was that profit is profit. Money is money. And if you’re here to make money, then just make money, and sometimes it’ll be a little and sometimes it’ll be a lot, but that’s what adds up to success. You’re not too good to make 10 bucks.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Shadow-Box-992x1024.png
SIN’s original trading jacket, badge, and trading pad

Did you have a morning routine? 

There was one guy at the opposite of the pit – out of respect, I won’t say his badge – but every day before the opening, my good luck charm was to go “Hey, [whatever his name was…]” and he would look over and I’d flip him off. And then I could start trading, because I was ready for the day.

Did you ever have like a week or a month where you were running low on money, might not be able to pay bills? 

More than once. I don’t know if I was close to broke more or less often than the average trader. I’d like to think for their sake, I was more often. There were times when people would blow out and then other people would help them out for the next few days to get them back in business if they were like a long timer and had always done the right thing, but just hit a bad streak. People would help you get back into business. Personally, I think most of the time that I got near that point, it just made me become a better trader. Having my back against the wall all of a sudden I get into a different mode and I think that’s subconsciously what happened with me when I got to those points, I just got into a better trading mode.

I’m guessing you became a lot more risk averse and smaller position sizes – more disciplined from start to finish.

To me the best discipline I learned over the years was when I was down beyond a certain amount of money – which varied based on conditions – I would say to myself, “I’ve lost enough for one day, I need to fucking go home.” The guy who backed me in natural gas trained me to know what this number was. And my mentor taught me that when you have a really shitty day, do something to balance it out – buy the TV you’ve been eyeing, or go out to dinner and buy a stupid expensive bottle of wine. Just equalize a little. When you have a really great day, just go home, have dinner, go to bed. 

Did you ever see anyone having a serious bout of revenge trading, or just like an emotional breakdown?

Oh, absolutely. So there’s this one guy who was backed by the same guy who backed me in natural gas, and while the backer would pull me out if I was down $10 grand in a day; he would pull him out at like $200 grand. For this trader he was paying for somebody to instill discipline in him that he didn’t have by himself, because he would get so pissed off, so emotional, the market could be just going down, down, down, and he would be a raging bull, emotionally buying all the way down. So he needed somebody just to smack him upside the head, because he was a really good trader. He just lost his discipline at times. He had enough discipline to know that he was going to lose his discipline at a certain point, and so between the two of them, they worked out where that point was.

Was there ever a fight?

Oh, absolutely. Sometimes you were suspended for a week, sometimes a day.

The thing with me being so little, people would get in my face and start chest bumping me and say, “I’m going to beat the shit out of you.” I looked at them and said, “Look, this ends one of two ways. You’re either going to beat the shit out of me and everybody looks at you and goes, so you beat the shit out of some short little guy. Or I beat the shit out of you and everybody goes, what the fuck man? You just got the shit beat out of you by some short guy from Long Island.” I go, “So really, you’re not going to win.” 

Generally, these people would turn around and walk away. That was the community and you could call somebody out just like that. They could get in my face, and I just had to call their bluff, and explain to them why they do want to don’t what they’re doing. It was either that or have somebody beat me up, right?

Was there anyone that was consistently rude in the pit? Did those types tend to stick around?

Well, yes and no. The guy who was kind of thought of as a dick, but he had the size of one of the biggest Wall St. trading firms behind him, so you couldn’t fuck with him too much because at the end of the day, you want to trade with him more than he necessarily wanted to trade with you. So there were certain people. That guy had the size to move markets the way he wanted, and he’s going to be the broker and make you suffer or help you out based on what he thinks of you. 

Somebody like me, if I’m a dick, I’m out of business in two weeks.

There are two big camps in finance – the traders and the bankers. As a trader, what did you think of investment bankers?

Stuck up. The funny thing about investment bankers was these old school guys obviously had millions and millions that they had earned over the course of the years, but here I was in my mid to late 20s making more money than a lot of people my age. You know, faster, easier, working 5-6 hours a day making money, and there’d be these guys who were in the investment banking program wearing blue suits ties acting all smart and stuck up, yet I’m making three times what they are working one third the hours. So to me it was kind of a joke, because they were buying into the image, and to me it was money. They correlated their image to where they were obviously going to be monetarily. 

black blazer

I had respect for people who were smart and did their job even if they were investment bankers, but I didn’t have respect for them just because they were investment bankers. 

You know, I used to talk to my buddy who was the GM of a BMW dealership that I used to buy cars from. We got friendly, and I would come visit him in the afternoon because they were near the driving range. So I’d come in wearing my Guatemalan shorts and flip flops on my way to the driving range to shoot the shit. One day I turned to him and said, “I just realized how not self-aware I’ve been… Do you mind that I come in here dressed like this?” 

He said to me, “I have women coming here on a Saturday afternoon, dressed to the fucking nines, dripping with jewelry, and I can’t get them a car because they don’t pass the loan requirements. When you come in here, we pick the color, you write a check for the deposit, and I see you in a month when the car is on the lot. You can come in here dressed any way you want.” 

That to me was the difference between commodities guys and investment bankers. We weren’t trying to impress. It was all about, “Did I make money today or did I lose it?” That was your scorecard.

There was still a lot of ego, and don’t get me wrong, sometimes with ego comes status, with status comes privilege. In that if people thought you were the guy who was swinging wood and always making money doing it, they might trade with you more often because they want to get whatever off of you or just know that you’re going to be there because you’re always the guy swinging wood. So the more bravado you had, the more recognition it might get you in one way or another.

What was your path out of the trading pit?

My path out of the pit was when London went electronic, and I realized that every physical exchange was going to end up going electronic. The pit traders basically got two week’s notice that the pit was shutting down. I didn’t want to go down with the Titanic. So I figured something out. I’m big on having Plan B, I don’t believe in getting in the way of technology, and I do believe in Darwinism. So I wanted to be one of those fittest that survived. 

I started writing trading models because I wanted to lay on a beach and just call my broker and tell them to buy or sell, and then a colleague said, “No, no, instead of making 100% on your money, what you want do is make 20% of the profits on other people’s money because if you walk to the table with a million of your own vs 100 million of theirs, you’re way better off. Simple math.” So we started developing trading models. I started getting into writing code and testing out ideas in 1995, and by the time it all came to fruition, it was like 1999/2000. What I learned later was I was at the front end of this whole commodity trading advisor, systematized trading wave. I didn’t realize that I was ahead of my class – I just kind of lucked into it.

So you had a partner in this business?

We were both pit traders. He kept trading in the pit and I left the floor. We got our first seed investors from the floor. So we were willing to take risk. We were really highly rated and had great returns but we didn’t market ourselves very well. We used to subscribe to BarclayHedge, which was a rating service – we were rated like number 4 or 5 the first year, number 17 the second, number 2 the third year out of all managers with over a million dollars in assets.

Was there a division of responsibilities in terms of people recruiting more funds vs trading?

Yes, absolutely. He went into the pit and traded. We developed the trading models together, and then he went into the pit and traded for himself. And I did everything else, which was fine because that’s what we agreed upon. We split up for partnership reasons, which happens with every 50/50 partnership along the way. It’s a lesson learned.

I learned a lot of lessons about trading just by developing chart models. I made the same development mistakes that so many other people make when they think that they can impose their opinion of markets into something that is actually completely binary. So what went on in the pit with the channeling of your emotions versus reading things and everything else is completely taken out by the computer.  

When you wrote these trading models, it wasn’t like a bot today that executes for you, right? You still had to pick up the phone and make the call. Was it more like a guideline?

So some people like us were trading advisors, which were basically fund managers for commodities. This was early on in people selling this as an art or science or whatever to investors, and a lot of them would write into their documentation their trading plan. A lot of them would write into their presentation decks that we’re going to follow these trading models, but we have the right to override at our discretion – I think it’s wrong. And my partner and I agreed – I made him agree – that we were going to follow our model verbatim if it was automated. We just didn’t have the capacity to execute automatically, it wasn’t there at the time. Had it been there, that’s what we would have done. 

We had a trader who would run our computer programs at night – it would spit out buy here, buy this sell this, put in this stop and whatever. Because we had long term positions, and he had no ability to veer from that.

The point is that to me, all of the intellectual thought and analysis and discipline went into building these models and analyzing the results that were in my face when I tested different scenarios, and anything I do to override is going to have some amount of emotion involved. So intervening in the model – that’s not what we’re trying to accomplish here.

You’ve been in trading for a while – how were you introduced to Bitcoin?

To explain that, I need to go back to the origins of the trading pits I worked in. A long time ago, you had farmers looking for buyers to take their crops. Without a place for price discovery, you didn’t know if the farmer down the road was getting twice the price you are, right? Or vice versa. So a place where everyone could get together and yell bids and offers at each other gave everybody a chance to get the best price – both buyers and sellers. That’s how these pits started.

When I got introduced to Bitcoin, somebody took me down to a park in downtown New York where a bunch of guys were standing in a circle with their cell phones. Some had cash and some had their cell phones with their Bitcoin wallets on them, and they were buying and selling Bitcoin for cash standing in a circle yelling at each other going, “What’s the bid, what’s the offer?” That was surreal for me. This is how it all started for commodities traders, and while the trading pits died I was standing there watching this nascent one starting basically the same way that one ended, which is with a bunch of guys standing around in a circle buying and selling. 

I bought my first Bitcoin from my buddy who was trading at the time. I asked him for an offer, he said maybe $115, so I paid him $120 just to give him a tip for introducing me to the whole thing. Just so I could bid when I bought my first Bitcoin.

Have you ever traded crypto? 

A couple times, until I realized that I just wasn’t going to be willing to put in the effort to actually do it. So I stopped. I can’t trade part-time – it’s not a hobby. I try and instill in people that even if you do it as a hobby, it’s got to be a job – you don’t have to do it eight hours a day but if you’re going to devote an hour a day then devote an hour every single day. If you’re going to devote four hours a week on the weekends then devote four hours a week every single weekend. Ascertain what you can from that amount of time and dedication… as we say in the pit, “Don’t be a fucking hero”.

What do you think crypto is missing that traditional markets have?

So I think that the difference with crypto is there’s less valuable information that’s easily discovered. Crypto, like I said, is so correlated to sentiment. Whereas traditional markets – whether an agricultural commodity or an energy commodity or a company stock – always has fundamental information. In crypto, all you really have are charts and people’s opinions. 

What infrastructure do you think is missing from crypto that we need, from a trader’s perspective?

I think from a trader’s perspective, the thing that a trader hates is unknown and surprise. So I think the infrastructure that we’re missing is knowing which exchanges you can depend on. When you blow up or go broke, it should be due to your own inadequacy in your trading, rather than some event that took down the exchange and took you down with it. It’s not so much infrastructure that needs to be built but bad exchanges that need to be weeded out – those that don’t have their eyes on what’s really important for sustainability. 

In 5 or 10 years, are there more fundamentals in crypto and less sentiment?

There’s more fundamentals and there are less cryptos, because you’re going to find the cryptos that have realistic use cases. At its essence, a cryptocurrency is just something to fuel a system, to pay to keep it running. So what you’re going to end up with are chains that have value based on what they’re performing, whatever system they’re supporting that has value elsewhere. And that’s where fundamentals come in – I want to invest in whatever is fueling a system that has real value to people. 

Where do you see this tokenization movement going? 

The thing about crypto is it’s a ledger – stocks are the perfect example. Stocks used to have paper stock certificates that were kept in safe. In the big trading houses these safes were called cages, and they held tons of these stock certificates that had your name on them and the name before you and so on to track ownership. Then the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation made everything electronic and all the stock certificates went away. There was an electronic record that was associated with your name and how many shares you held, and when I buy shares that happen to coincide with your sale, your electronic shares get transferred to me and now the ownership is in my name. DTCC has this ledger of who holds what. 

What we accomplish with crypto is eliminating a central clearing place. Everybody can have a view of the ledger that DTCC was essentially running privately before. As somebody from a family of accountants, to me, crypto is just a ledger that everybody has an eye into. So, to me stocks become more like crypto because those records will be on a public ledger. 

Any final remarks?

So once a year before Christmas, there’s this unofficial Christmas party of all the old floor traders – we meet at the bar where we used to hang out, it’s organized by whatever stragglers are in town. And when you get a group of these people in a room together, the stories are just, they’re endless and we’re always animated because if you survived it, you’ll never have this much fun in your professional fucking career as you did then. 

Even people at the party who were clerks, who were making a hell of a lot more than their compatriots yet didn’t have a high school degree or barely graduated. So you may know none of them got rich. But even they come back to these things, they organize the fucking thing, just to tell the stories, because if you survived down there, you know that it just can and will never exist ever again, anything like it, anywhere. 

So when you get those people together, there’s a type of bond, just like there’s probably going to be built over the course in crypto as the assholes drop out. What’s left is the community that’s trying to build this, and that community will long survive the companies that are responsible for building the community. 

I went on to Bloomberg, and I would walk into offices and run into people I knew from the trading floor, I’d walk down the street in New York and run into somebody that I knew. It’s just a smaller world than you realize, and you end up traversing the same path, even if you go in different directions sometimes. It’s that community that you’re trying to build. That’s what made being a floor trader so great. These people were picking your pocket during the day and drinking beers with you at night.

One thought on “Controlled Chaos in the Trading Pit – SIN Trade.config

  1. I used to trade on the floor of the COMEX as well. Started clerking in silver options then traded copper options among other things. It was chaos but great if you could make it. Lots of ups and downs.

    Great interview.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.