MarketsWiki Education Open Outcry Traders History Project
Jim Downs learned about the CBOE from a personal finance class while an engineering student. He loved modeling the markets and found his way to the CBOE. After reading the Black-Scholes paper, he reverse engineered it in the Basic coding language on an Apple IIE. After college, he met his wife, whose father was a trader in the CBOT corn pit. For Valentine’s Day, he was given an application for membership to the CBOE. As an independent trader, the biggest health problem he ran into was eye infections from all the spit from traders shouting bids and offers. The watershed moment in his trading career was when the OEX pit opened and the constant flow of paper and liquidity turned him into a great trader. In 1987, he had his best trade when he found himself long calls and short puts and much too long in a rallying market. He then turned his position around and his timing was just right. He left the floor and founded Connamara Systems, a software development firm that builds exchange systems and offers custom development services for capital markets.