OLD Media Moves

MarketWatch.com editor bans photos of traders on stock market floor

October 1, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Jeremy Olshan, the editor of Marketwatch.com, has banned photos of traders on the stock market floor from the financial news website, noting that they’re no longer a true reflection of how the market works.

Olshan writes, “The Big Board is now little more than a Big Tent for a phony media circus of photo-ops and cable-news talking heads. P.T. Barnum couldn’t draw the crowds Jack Ma did last month when he clanged the bell to kick off Alibaba’s IPO. The only things exchanged on the floor, however, were camera flashes, sound bites, and high-fives.

“Don’t get me wrong. I love the photos of the guys on the trading floor. They are human emoji, a shorthand able to illustrate the full range of stock-market sentiment from triumph to agony. (Peter Tuchman, a 30-year veteran of the floor, was recently dubbed the ‘most photographed trader on Wall Street’ by BuzzFeed.)

“And to be fair, these ‘designated market makers,’ as the several dozen remaining floor specialists are now called, aren’t there entirely for show. ‘There is a value to having humans in place at the point of sale—seeing them there provides a sense of security and accountability that a wholly electronic exchange cannot offer,’ said Eric Ryan, a spokesman for NYSE. ‘When things are going fine—90% of the time you don’t need a person, but when there are imbalances, instability, or when a fat-fingered trader orders a million shares instead of 10,000, our guys can catch it before it hits the marketplace.’

“Still, by relying on trading-floor photos, we have been distorting the truth rather than reporting it. We are doing a disservice to you, our readers, and therefore we too must change with the times and find new ways to illustrate the ups and downs of the market.”

Read more here.


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