From Fortune Mag:
On Monday, most of the futures trading pits in Chicago and New York—where traders flashed hand signals lightning quick to buy and sell commodities like cattle, corn, gold, and, of course, pork bellies—will shut their doors, bringing the venues’ 167-year history to a close.
The pits, which were made famous in the movie Trading Places, thrived for decades on a schoolyard atmosphere of bold bets, ruthless competition, close camaraderie, and professional opportunity—no matter a person’s upbringing or past. In announcing the closures in February, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group, the owner of the exchanges, said that open outcry futures trading had fallen to just 1% of the company’s total futures volume. The practice has lost out to a faster, cheaper, and quieter competitor: the computer.
Time marches on…
Now trading can be done anywhere in the world that has access to the internet, which gave rise to home traders like myself.
A great documentary movie chronicling life at the CME from its heyday to the advent of the computer age and its eventual fall from prominence can be seen here: