Stocks & Commodities V. 24:5 (56-59): Interview: Cari Lynn: Life On The Trading Floor by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan
Cari Lynn is a Chicago-based journalist and the author of "Leg The Spread: A Womanís Adventures Inside The Trillion-Dollar Boysí Club Of Commodities Trading." In researching "Leg The Spread", Lynn spent two years at
the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), following around the handful of women who brave the male-dominated trading pits. Lynn holds a masterís
degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelorís in journalism from the University of Maryland. She has ghost-written two other books of nonfiction, and has also written for numerous newspapers and magazines, including O, The Oprah Magazine, Health, Good Housekeeping, The Chicago Tribune, Washingtonian, San Francisco magazine,
and Chicago magazine. She has worked on Capitol Hill for the Press Secretary of the House Commerce Committee, and has also taught English at Loyola University and creative writing at Columbia College.
STOCKS & COMMODITIES Editor Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan interviewed Cari Lynn via telephone on March 9, 2006.
Q: Cari, what inspired you to get yourself on the floor of the financial markets?
A: A friend of mine daytraded from home. She also happened to own a seat at the Chicago Board of Trade
(CBOT). In 2000, when the Internet bubble burst, she watched her account plummet, and was bemoaning the fact that the people on the floor were actually profiting from this. I didnít understand what that meant. I didnít know the first thing about futures trading, but I knew she owned the seat. I said, ďWhy donít you use it? You know how to trade. Youíve been successfully trading for several years now.Ē And she said she didnít trade on the floor because she was afraid. I had no
concept why a woman, in this day and age who was adept at her career, would be so afraid. So that got me curious.
We went down to the floor and I had never seen anything like it. I immediately understood her fear. I couldnít spot any women. I was also blown away by the fact that here was this whole other world and it was just down the street from me. People donít have any idea what really goes on there. I knew there were stories waiting to be told. I became fascinated with how the handful of women working on the floor were making it in this really vicious, physical, manís world. Really, it is one of the last male bastions in society.