MarketsWiki Education’s Open Outcry Traders History Project
Jeff Bernacchi fell in love with futures trading on a trip to the exchange with his microeconomics class. He also recorded the best results in the class for paper trading. During college he was hired by Heinold Commodities to be a runner. At 21 he lease a membership with $5,000 and a letter of credit against his father’s home. He started in the Tbill pit about the time Paul Volcker, then head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, was announcing he was letter interest rate float. The “Volcker Statement” started Bernacchi’s good luck. He was a spreader and made history by installing the first phone bridge at the exchange, bringing all the traders onto the same line. His best trading day was in the Eurodollars on the Monday of the October 19 stock market crash
1987. He survived despite being the youngest trader, the least capitalized and the least experienced. Later, he joined the CME Group board and served for 10 years as a traders representative. He recently retired to enjoy life and avoid the long days in a chair trading electronically.