Theft? Commodity Floor Brokers
by Allen D. Hanson
Questionable trading practices in the Securities business became very evident to me during my years as
product manager for a major corporation and later as a licensed floor broker.
In those days, I owned individual seats on two of the nation's registered stock and commodity exchanges.
I routinely carried commodity positions so large that they required daily reporting to the CEA
(Commodities Exchange Authority), the governing body at that time. I also acted as an independent floor
broker for a major brokerage house and other firms, always doing any personal trading and
order-handling concurrently. As a floor broker and seat owner, I also represented this brokerage in their
daily settlement with the clearing house at the exchange during the 1970's. I handled commodity delivery,
clearing house reporting, pit trading, cash transfers, error accounting, spreading, house accounts,
customer orders, margin account problems, exchange regulations, and I often opened and closed pit
When I left the exchanges, I left "clean", but I think I know and understand every trick or procedure ever
invented to buy, sell, invest, deploy or even steal funds for gain, and do it in such a way that no one but
an expert really sees what is going on.
The commodity futures trading industry is expanding rapidly, with increased trading volume year after
year. If the present trend continues, there will be more than 157 million futures contracts traded during
1984, for another all-time high. Unfortunately, as the trading volume grows, so does the amount of
"questionable practices" involved in some of these trades. Participation in fraud by some of the insiders
(floor brokers) is broad and flagrant, and what's worse, the people involved are not likely to talk about
their activities even after they leave the commodities business. In the stock and commodity industry a
"convicted player" is totally out of the game; forever. The "penalty box" in commodities is permanent and