Why the CME shutting down floor trading matters

"The Chicago floors were unique social environments that I treasured," said Donald Luskin, who traded on the Chicago Board of Exchange in the early-1980s and would go on to become a respected and veteran investment officer with Wells Fargo and BlackRock. "They were ladders of opportunity through which completely noncredentialed new entrants could get up close and personal with high finance."

Like Luskin, many current and former members lamented the gritty environment of the floor that built not only careers, but life skills.

"Everyone there is trying to take advantage of everyone else. It is dog eat dog. ... Yet the acts of kindness and friendship and generosity that emerge from the combat create a kind of camaraderie I've never experienced anywhere else," said Luskin, who is chief investment officer at his own firm, Trend Macrolytics.

Thursday, February 5, 2015