You’ve got to give them credit for this – the public relations department at Euronext is doing a great job. Confronted with a problem (empty trading floor), solving the problem (new tenants) and presenting the affair as great news ; “traders returning in numbers to Beursplein 5“.

Royal princes Maxima will sound the opening bell this monday, and the new inhabitants will hit the closing bell. A lot of attention from the press. Too bad the markets will probably go south tomorrow. There’s just one little thing which caught my attention in this good-news-show. The trading jackets. They are back.

Trading Jackets

Of course, in the good old days it was great to watch and news shows loved them. But asking the brokers and traders to wear the colorful trading jackets again in their own little offices on the trading floor is silly. Even when it’s limited to special occasions – it’s not a museum.

The good old days aren’t coming back. No matter the tradition and history, trading these days is a technological battleground and Euronext is under siege from different corners. It is loosing ground in trading volumes to Chi-X and TOM will try to do the same with derivatives. And last but not least – Euronext is hurting itself with unreliable systems and regular breakdowns. Smaller problems – which don’t harm trading – are persistent too.

Day One Trader

If you want nostalgia, buy a book. I enjoyed reading Day One Trader, a story of John Sussex who has been bringing up memories of the early days of the open outcry on LIFFE in London. Coming from a humble background in Basildon (yes, how ironic) and a true Hammers fan – he has a lot of good stories to share. He met the Queen and the exchange building had an invasion of anarchist protesters. A trader with a background as former member of the infamous Inter City Firm kicked them out of the building (and into the hospital).   See for yourselves, if open outcry trading has got your interest it’s a good read. See here for more on youtube.

Occupy Beursplein

Too bad the protesters gave up so easily last time. Spending just one night in front of a closed exchange building in the weekend isn’t really Tahir-like. Noticed some 700 protesters got arrested in New York. Thing is, if they look like this Goethe girl here on the right this protest movement could attract more folks. No doubt she could get the crowd to go for the exchange building. Don’t have clue what their wishes are, but they couldn’t be worse than the silly Financial Transaction Tax. Luckily the UK and The Netherlands will veto this idea anyway – but it’s strange some people seriously coined this idea and put efforts in place to schedule it for 2014.