At one time, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was the center of commodities commerce. Housed in a giant building in downtown, the Exchange held pits with 4,000 traders shouting to conduct their business.
Now the gold, cattle and corn and other futures will be traded via computer. No more personal interactions. No more shouting. No more mosh pits of brokers yelling or signaling for their transactions.
I am sure that the computer is more efficient. It absolutely is quieter and probably is more economical. But I wonder what the cost of silence will be.
Is there a price that can be put on passion? What cost comes from traders being physically removed from each other, unable to develop relationships and partnerships or even to share knowledge? How will this impact the culture of the futures industry?
I think about the initial allure of on-line learning and how institutions like the University of Phoenix are losing enrollments in massive numbers. At the end of the day, we are a communal people. We like being in groups and sharing experiences with others.
I lament that the futures market has moved to the computer. Think about the trade offs you are making in your organization between efficiency and community and the impact it has on your future.
Source: “No more ROAR” by Bernard Condon and Don Babwin for the Associated Press in the Telegraph Herald, July 12, 2015, p. 1B