In the early days of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, economic opportunity was phenomenal, said CME currency trader Yra Harris. ”I used to say it was like Jed Clampett [the character in old TV series “The Beverly Hillbillies” who struck it rich] shooting at the ground and hitting oil.” It was a booming business.
Yra Harris was on a career track to become a college professor in the 1970s, earning a master’s degree in economics. But when he came home from school his parents gave him $250 for a suit and told him to go look for a job. He did, interviewing at Continental Bank, First Chicago and other banks, but he said he had “broader expectations,” as well as aspirations to go to Washington to work for a congressional committee. A family friend suggested he get an IMM (International Monetary Market) seat at the CME for $10,000, but it wasn’t until May 1977 that he got a membership.
Larry Abrams’ career started with a chance encounter on a ski lift which was prompted by a good deed. He and some friends helped to push a stranded car that was stuck during a blizzard in Park City, Utah. The next day on the lift line he was paired with the man whose car he had helped push out the night before, who happened to be an options market maker at the Cboe. By the time he got off the lift line, he knew that was what he wanted to do.
Robin Wood found the Greenwood Project via a group chat while a student at the University of Illinois and that connection led to an internship and full-time position with the National Futures Association. Wood was interviewed by NFA communications specialist Joseph McCarthy in the offices of John Lothian News for the MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity video series. She talks about the Greenwood Project and her experiences at NFA, including joining the futures regulator during a pandemic.
Andre Buckles is the executive director of talent recruitment at the OCC. He spoke to John Lothian News for the MarketsWiki Education World of Opportunity video series about the work from home environment and how to make it work. He offered insights as an engaged worker in a remote working world. He spoke about six different ways to be engaged in a virtual environment.
NYSE executive Meaghan Dugan always worked in kitchens as a youth and had dreams of becoming a famous chef. She even earned a degree in culinary science. However, instead of donning a poofy cap for a career as a chef, she pursued a career in the markets at the Pacific Stock Exchange and wore a colorful jacket.
Tim Brennan did not know what he wanted to do after graduating from a small liberal arts college with a degree in psychology. As with many other traders from this era, his mom had a friend who could get him a job as a runner at the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
Alex Lamb wanted to be a helicopter pilot in the U.K. Royal Airforce. He never had the chance, but he strategically landed opportunity after opportunity in the banking, trading and related technology businesses during his long and varied career.
Lamb even helped launch the firm Trading Technologies, outlining to then contractor Gary Kemp what he wanted for a new electronic trading screen that would allow brokers to enter orders for multiple accounts and be able to track them more efficiently. That was the genesis of the screen that became Trading Technologies’ desktop offering.
John Walls is an executive with ADM Investor Services, but he started in the industry like many others of his generation as a trading floor messenger or runner. As a runner on the MidAmerica Commodity Exchange trading floor working for Shatkin Trading, Walls took advantage of nearly every opportunity he was presented with to learn all the different aspects of the markets and futures industry.
Michael Ourabah is the founder and CEO of BSO, a technology infrastructure provider specializing in connectivity for finance and capital market users. BSO recently embarked on a rebranding after being more of an engineering focused company that was “bad at marketing.” John Lothian News interviewed Ourabah over Zoom about BSO’s rebranding, telecoms in the age of the pandemic, cybersecurity, business as the world reopens, virtual reality and what comes next in technology.
No summer doldrums this year; Volatility and volume surge; More (single stock) options to choose from; John Lothian weighs in with his take; and Jermal Chandler explains extrinsic value in this week’s options “Term of the Week.”
Daniel Carpenter is the head of sales at Meritsoft, a Cognizant company. John Lothian News interviewed Carpenter about the problems created by high-volume trading from banks, brokerages and other institutions, including how a company tracks the different fees it is paying or collecting from various trades.
Inflation really is a thing; Small traders are still big; John Lothian weighs in on the current trading landscape; and Nasdaq wins the May options market share race. All in this and the debut of the options “Term of the Week” in The Spread.
Donald MacKenzie, a professor of sociology at University of Edinburgh, became fascinated with high-frequency trading 10 years ago, specifically about the alpha involved in speed. John Lothian News interviewed Professor Donald MacKenzie over Zoom about his new book “Trading at the Speed of Light; How Ultrafast Algorithms are Transforming Financial Markets,” published by Princeton University Press.
First Read $51,906/$300,000 (17.3%) ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff The SEC issued an "Opinion of the Commission" on Monday in a case between ABN AMRO Chicago LLC and Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. and C2 Options Exchange, Inc. Here is a...
Observations & Insight The SEC issued an "Opinion of the Commission" on Monday in a case between ABN AMRO Chicago LLC and Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. and C2 Options Exchange, Inc. Here is a summary of the opinion: "ABN AMRO Clearing Chicago LLC petitions...