The Times reports that floor traders at the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) have 'staged a revolt' and refused to use new trading technology as it looks certain eventually to replace them and cost them their jobs. And no-one should be surprised. It's a bit like expecting a turkey to genuinely be looking forward to Christmas.
The new electronic trading technology was apparently introduced last week and, to date, is said to have been hardly used at all. Richard Ward, the IPE CEO, is said to have been jeered and booed from the trading floor. The boycott looks set to continue.
Traders generally are now becoming more anxious about the likely effect electronic trading will have on their job prospects. Many realise that they are simply going to be replaced by 'machines'. Take UBS, for example. Bloomberg recently reported that the firm has now been able to wrestle top spot in the $1.2 trillion-a-day currency market away from Citigroup by using smart new trading technology. UBS is said to be currently posting revenues of around $1.4m each business day and generating this income with just 30 traders, 50 less than the firm needed in 1999. There is a general concern that Christmas has come early this year.