The Book of the Week is “Leg the Spread” by Cari Lynn, published in 2004. The author interviewed several current and former commodities-futures traders, providing detailed descriptions of their days at the market in Chicago.
Some traders, employees of a broker-dealer, actually stood on the trading floor, yelling and waving paper from the time the market opened at 8am until mid-afternoon. Others traded online. They had good days and bad days.
One female who formerly made a large amount of money on the trading floor before becoming burnt out, had many bad days, both because the job itself was stressful, and because the vast majority of people around her– practically all men– were sexist. In many cases, the way for a female to get ahead besides having super luck, quick math skills and keen intuition about human behavior, was to sleep with one’s (male) boss.
Read the book to get a comprehensive, entertaining picture of the American commodities-futures market in the mid-single-digit 2000’s.