Elizabeth Marbach of Rodman & Renshaw by Thom Hartle
Elizabeth Marbach, first vice president and broker/analyst in the financial futures group for Rodman &
Renshaw, started out in the early 1980s down in the Treasury bill trading pit on the Chicago Mercantile
Exchange floor before eventually moving off the exchange floor. S TOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Thom
Hartle interviewed Marbach on April 20, 1992, on topics ranging from the Eurodollar market to the
dangers of pyramiding.
So how did you get started in the business?
Well, I started out in the government bond department at Continental Illinois in the late 1970s, where I
sold cash governments, money markets and munis. Then I got into the futures market in 1981 down on
the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the Treasury bill pit. Treasury bill futures, if you'll
recall, preceded Eurodollar futures and Standard & Poor's futures markets. Eventually, I moved off the
floor, working with customers as a broker and as an analyst for eight years at Drexel Burnham Lambert
and the last two years at Rodman & Renshaw.
What are some of the big differences in financial futures between today and when you first worked on
the floor, considering how much financial futures have changed over the years?
Well, we're talking about more than 10 years ago. At that time you had people who were just getting into
financial futures. There was a difference in terms of who traded the markets. Some knew the cash
markets, while others knew the futures markets. With some exceptions, there weren't many who
understood both. Different traders followed their own set of guidelines for their own markets. Futures
traders watched more for either the technicals or the underlying specifics of the contracts — for example,
futures traders would follow the cash and carry for the bond contract. The bottom line was that two
distinct groups were trading these instruments, converging at the time of delivery.