A long standing tradition in Chicago is officially coming to a close, with the CME starting to shutter its pits starting Monday, July 6th (was supposed to be today, but they delayed it. Maybe the ‘pit closer’ had the 4th of July weekend off, and they didn’t realize that until last minute).
What started as a way for farmers (both grains and pigs) to hedge their crops, boomed into a full blown, career opportunity for those willing to take on “the pits”. Now, after more than a century (167 years to be exact), most of the trading is done online – with the trading pits looking like an old mining town to those who saw them in their full glory in the early 90s.
(Disclaimer: Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results)
Chart Courtesy: Crains Chicago
Suffice it to say, this is more than just a business decision to those who cut their teeth on the trading floors. This is the end of an important piece of the entrepreneurial cycle in Chicago. This is the end of a proving ground for new young trading talent. This is the end of a brotherhood (and sisterhood) of close friends who shared the joys and pain of making money in real time together. Life will go on. Futures trading will go on. But the trading lifestyle (the good and the bad) and ability for working class kids to make something of themselves based on street smarts and hustle, not an Ivy league degree – will forever change. How that changes the rest of the industry, if at all, remains to be seen.
Here’s some of the best articles we’ve found about the glory days of the trading pits. Enjoy the read over the holiday weekend.
- Interactive: Closing Time: Stories from Chicago’s Famed Trading Floors – (Crains Chicago)
- Closing time for Chicago’s trading pits – (WBEZ)
- What Chicago Loses by Closing the CME’s Futures Pits – (Chicago Magazine)
- CME Group’s decision heralds end of an era – (Futures Magazine)
- As Silence Falls on Chicago Trading Pits, a Working-Class Portal Also Closes – (New York Times)
- End of an Era as CME to Close Almost All Floor Trading for Futures – (Wall Street Journal)