The NYSE should simply concede the obvious and ask the various television networks to ante up money to support actors futzing in front of a trader backdrop in the cavernous NYSE trading rooms. Call it a cost of doing business, but the only people who really need the sturm and drang of traders anymore in this algorithmic & automated world is television.
"That’s good for the visibility. It’s a symbol," said Patrick Healy, who heads The Issuer Advisory Group which advises companies on stock trading related matters.
Although traders on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) are known for feverishly calling out their trades and using mysterious hand signals to conduct business, such rowdiness has largely been replaced at the NYSE by computers.
The remaining NYSE traders who ply their business in the cavernous trading hall typically work around trading booths adorned with their companies’ names, but their ranks have been significantly depleted.
Many markets around the world are all-electronic. Traders on the Paris Bourse for example hung up their jackets about 20 years ago.
Although the number of NYSE traders has sharply fallen in recent years, the floor is a popular backdrop for television correspondents covering the stock markets.
There is something deeply nutty in the idea that television is the main reason the NYSE trading room exists. Sort of like the fake Enron trading rooms of the late-1990s, what’s the over-under for a made-for-TV NYSE trading room? Five years would be my guess.