The Case of the Disappearing Traders

NYSE Wall Street

New York Stock Exchange floor traders already are an endangered species. But with the 'ICE' age approaching, they worry about extinction.

The New York Post reports that after the energy and commodities futures exchange upstart IntercontinentalExchange, or ICE, based in Atlanta, made its $8.2bn bid to buy the venerable institution at 11 Wall St. last month, the traders spent the holidays pondering their futures. And it’s not very bright.

'Trading will go to the venue with the lowest frictional costs - and the venue with the lowest frictional cost is the one where there are no humans. The human is too slow to work in this electronic world', said Diego Perfumo, of Equity Research.

The latest numbers of floor traders by the NYSE bear him out.

In 2007, there were 3,000 market makers and traders working the floor, but now, according to the NYSE, that number has fallen to 300. The introduction of computer trading systems has eliminated the need for human personnel.

Hit the link below to access the complete New York Post article:

Floor traders drop from 3,000 to 300

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