Portrait of a Trader | October 2, 2007
Back in 1999, when the world was brimming with optimism, when there were purple Yahoo! taxicabs patrolling the streets of San Francisco, I was a clerk on the options trading floor of the Pacific Coast Options Exchange. It was there that I learned how the financial markets worked. I spent much of my time standing in the back of the Intel-Oracle pit with the other clerks and stock jockeys; that is, the area where traders in Intel and Oracle options congregated.
There was a trader in the pit named Jack Taylor. Jack was six four, 240 pounds, with no concept of...
Spartacus | October 2, 2007
The market has its own intelligence. It has a sort of malignant omniscience that dictates that the market will do whatever fucks over the most people at any given moment in time. It knows your positions, and it knows your fears. You are a sinner in the hands of an angry God, and your positions are going to pay. Like Santa Claus, sort of, except that the market doesn’t care who’s been naughty or nice; more often than not, naughty wins. The market cares who is the most exposed, who is the most out over his skis, and who has taken the most risk at any given moment. And once the...