Why this book?
Chicago’s famous ‘open-outcry’ trading pits were packed with hundreds of traders making deals with each other using eye contact and hand signals, or simply shouting out their bids and offers. Anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom did something quite extraordinary. She studied these pits ‘from the inside’ (as a trader’s clerk) and then went on to examine the electronic trading that was starting to replace them – herself becoming a trader. Her book represents anthropology at its most skilled and offers a fascinating glimpse of the lost world of face-to-face trading (nearly all of Chicago’s pits are now closed).
I researched Chicago’s pits myself in the years in which they still flourished, but not in the depth that Zaloom achieved. I’m in awe of her fabulous fieldwork.
Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London
Why should I read it?
1 author picked Out of the Pits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
In "Out of the Pits", Caitlin Zaloom shows how traders, brokers, and global financial markets have adapted to the digital age. Drawing on her firsthand experiences as a clerk and a trader, as well as her unusual access to key sites of global finance, she explains how changes at the world's leading financial exchanges have transformed economic cultures and the craft of speculation; how people and places are responding to the digital transition; how traders are remaking themselves to compete in the contemporary marketplace; and how brokers, business managers, and software designers are collaborating to build new markets. A penetrating…
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