The following is an excerpt from “Secrets of the Trading Pros: Techniques & Tips that Pros Use to Beat the Markets” by Jack Bouroudjian.
The events of September 11, 2001, will be written about for years to come. But rather than spend time writing about the causes behind the event, I will tell you what happened in my world during those difficult days. Many things happened behind the scenes at the CME, and much of what was done, directly or indirectly, affected the entire market and the psychology that pervades it. I think of the event itself as the Kennedy assassination of our time. Everyone remembers exactly where they were that morning.
If any single event let the entire world know that the days of bull market innocence had come to an end, September 11 and its aftermath were it. In fact, the event constitutes a perfect case study of the changing of the collective psychology of the marketplace in a single day. No other news event caused more market disruption and confusion than that. Understanding the emotional impact of the event is important for anyone trading the markets today because much of the psychology that surrounds today’s trading was caused by 9/11!
For me, September 11 started like any other day with an early trip to the CME floor to do CNBC and Bloomberg TV before heading back to the Commerz offices. I was scheduled for a 9am TV appearance to talk about the economic releases coming out that morning.
As I watched CNBC, I heard Mark Haines say something about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. My first reaction was to call Vinny McLaughlin and Denny DeCore, who were at the Nomura offices across the street from the WTC, at the world Financial Center. I asked them if they could see what was happening and if they were safe. They told me they were fine but it looked as if a traffic copter or something small had hit the tower. From their angle it was difficult to see the extent of the damage caused by the first plane.
Walking on to the upper trading floor at the Merc, I saw my old friend Peter Yastrow, who had taken a position with Cantor Fitzgerald covering their proprietary traders and brokers. Cantor’s New York offices were on a high floor in the tower that had been hit, and Peter and his colleagues at the desk looked concerned.
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