While those are the facts, a more colorful article, “Hedging Stress”, that appeared in of all places Cigar Aficionado late in 1997 captures for me a sense of the excitement, humor, risk and reward of bond trading at the Chicago Board of Trade. Here’s a sample:
Lucian Thomas Baldwin III, who goes by the acronym “BAL” that he wears on the badge pinned to his purple trading jacket, occupies the top rung on the volatile, high-stress ladder of trading in the Treasury-bond pit of the CBOT. He became the biggest in the world by withstanding the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes being made or lost in seconds. Not that there is an official ranking of this kind of thing, but Baldwin’s exposure on any given day is in the neighborhood of $5 million. Fellow traders call Baldwin “The King. … a man who started with $20,000 in 1982 and has been known to trade as many as 60,000 contracts a day with a total face value of $6 billion. “I’ve made $2 million in a day, but I’ve lost $5 million in a day,” Baldwin says. Five million dollars. Lost. One day.
The final chapters of Tom Baldwin’s fabulously successful career have yet to be written. These days Tom does his bond trading and runs his businesses from Granot Loma.
Tom Baldwin Bond Trading Articles
Click here to read “Hedging Stress” in full.
Click here to read an interview with Mr. Baldwin on page 178 from the book Market Wizards by Jack Schwager
Click here to read an interview with Mr. Baldwin from the Chicago Tribune after Surviving a 1991 Plane Crash