My name is Pete, a principal of Quant Trade LLC and a Limited partner of the ROXI LLLP with vested interests in that exempt pool. Please allow me this opportunity to introduce myself as I will be posting periodically on this site.
Come May of this year I will be enjoying my 44th year working and trading within the Commodity Futures Industry. I know many will be saying “who is this fossil? He must be out of touch with today’s markets and systems. Well you may be right to a limited extent. But to that I say change is inevitable and those who adapt to it well and quickly will achieve.
To this point I still am the only person I know that was promoted to a runner. (Story for another time.) I worked through floor and back office operations to have an IOM membership assigned to me. I filled customer paper as well as traded personal accounts outside of the pits I executed in. It’s true in ’76 everything was very different. The boxed beef pricing at noon as well as other cash market info was posted on blackboards, the currency futures were in their infancy, It was common place for hedgers to make and take delivery of thousands of agricultural contracts in a single day, Dr Richard Sandor was pioneering interest rate futures, and arb signals were just being employed in the T-bill pit.
I learned much from the Soviet grain embargo and Carter’s Payment in Kind Program. The S&P pit during the ’87 crash was a hell of a classroom. That’s when the circuit breakers most recently used in March of this year were put in place. I spent years as a risk manager watching and learning from some of the best and worst traders of the day, but it was a thankless job. No one wants to hear from the “risk guy” and you always had a bull’s eye on your back when things would blow up. “Why didn’t you see that one coming?” I could go on with all kinds of changes we’ve seen and adapted to but I’m afraid it would become rather verbose.
Yes, much has and will continue to evolve and yes, we will adapt and move forward or become dinosaurs. I’m confident the basic fundamentals that drive market pricing will always be there. I think what I miss most is the roar on the opening bell, the constant rumble of the trading floor, and the two-minute bell alerting us to the “closing range” of the pit session. It’s hard for me to get use to the silence of the screen. If anyone knows where I can download “pit noise” please let me know.
I am also going to take this opportunity to thank my mentor, colleague, and most of all friend Erik Long, CEO of Quant Trade LLC and developer of Fractal Finance for helping me continue to learn and adapt to these changing times and welcome all those that will come.