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Leg the Spread: Breaking Down the Boys Club of Commodities Trading

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Stepping on to the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for the first time was a terrifying experience for Cari Lynn; it was a minefield of flailing arms, rampant sexism and knife-edge deals and the stress levels meant it could blow up at any moment. As an Exchange clerk Lynn learned the pitfalls and triumphs of the markets up close, gaining an insight into the larger Stepping on to the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for the first time was a terrifying experience for Cari Lynn; it was a minefield of flailing arms, rampant sexism and knife-edge deals and the stress levels meant it could blow up at any moment. As an Exchange clerk Lynn learned the pitfalls and triumphs of the markets up close, gaining an insight into the larger than life personalities of her trader colleagues and what it’s like to be the lone female in a testosterone fuelled trading pit. Leg The Spread celebrates the hard-hitting, resourceful women who are making it big in business – outwitting and out-earning their male counterparts regardless of the glass ceiling. From Alaina, who bares her midriff and records her trades with a pink pom pom pen, but is known to throw a punch to get the trade she wants, to Bev, who hustles billions of dollars in contracts everyday with a sway over the market so great that major players like Goldman Sachs refuse to trade if she’s not in the pit, we meet gutsy female traders who embrace the adrenaline rush of fast paced money making while proving themselves daily in the midst of the ultimate boy’s club.


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Stepping on to the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for the first time was a terrifying experience for Cari Lynn; it was a minefield of flailing arms, rampant sexism and knife-edge deals and the stress levels meant it could blow up at any moment. As an Exchange clerk Lynn learned the pitfalls and triumphs of the markets up close, gaining an insight into the larger Stepping on to the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for the first time was a terrifying experience for Cari Lynn; it was a minefield of flailing arms, rampant sexism and knife-edge deals and the stress levels meant it could blow up at any moment. As an Exchange clerk Lynn learned the pitfalls and triumphs of the markets up close, gaining an insight into the larger than life personalities of her trader colleagues and what it’s like to be the lone female in a testosterone fuelled trading pit. Leg The Spread celebrates the hard-hitting, resourceful women who are making it big in business – outwitting and out-earning their male counterparts regardless of the glass ceiling. From Alaina, who bares her midriff and records her trades with a pink pom pom pen, but is known to throw a punch to get the trade she wants, to Bev, who hustles billions of dollars in contracts everyday with a sway over the market so great that major players like Goldman Sachs refuse to trade if she’s not in the pit, we meet gutsy female traders who embrace the adrenaline rush of fast paced money making while proving themselves daily in the midst of the ultimate boy’s club.

30 review for Leg the Spread: Breaking Down the Boys Club of Commodities Trading

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I hated, hated, hated this book. It opened with a good story that was never linked up. The first 100+ pages talked about the author's fear of walking out onto the training floor. I was so frustrated. I wish that I could get back the time that I wasted reading this book. The rest of my book club didn't even finish it. I hated, hated, hated this book. It opened with a good story that was never linked up. The first 100+ pages talked about the author's fear of walking out onto the training floor. I was so frustrated. I wish that I could get back the time that I wasted reading this book. The rest of my book club didn't even finish it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jina

    An interesting contrast to several books I've read about Wall Street traders. This focuses on Chicago commodities traders, mainly at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ("the Merc") and also at the Chicago Board of Trade. The book talks mainly about the culture, which sounds even worse than Wall Street. She describes in vivid detail how the Merc is filthy, how the traders there break all the rules (no spitting, no littering, no threatening other traders), but the rules are strictly enforced against a An interesting contrast to several books I've read about Wall Street traders. This focuses on Chicago commodities traders, mainly at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ("the Merc") and also at the Chicago Board of Trade. The book talks mainly about the culture, which sounds even worse than Wall Street. She describes in vivid detail how the Merc is filthy, how the traders there break all the rules (no spitting, no littering, no threatening other traders), but the rules are strictly enforced against any women on the floor (no open-toed shoes, your skirt's too short, etc.). She also describes how trading gets people hooked on the money even while it makes them miserable, and it warps their view of the world (asking women to take off their shirts for thousands of dollars). On the bright side, one woman trader at the CBOT managed to enforce some level of civility in her trading pit (wheat futures). Cari Lynn is a capable writer but no Michael Lewis, so there's no deeper analysis here, just a description of the scum on the surface.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cory Deckard

    A bit partial in my rating because the subject matter is reflective of what I do for a living. Overall, I enjoyed the authors perspective not only on trading but the culture of trading and the industry as a whole.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gail Mclinn

    This was an intriguing look at the good old boys club of commodity trading from a women's perspective. It helps to understand the foundation of commodities trading, the harsh environment, the unforgiving atmosphere and the coping methods used by both men and women in making it through trading. I liked here journalistic perspective, as well as her lay person's point of view that helps hone in the "real" world of commodity trading in the pits. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in c This was an intriguing look at the good old boys club of commodity trading from a women's perspective. It helps to understand the foundation of commodities trading, the harsh environment, the unforgiving atmosphere and the coping methods used by both men and women in making it through trading. I liked here journalistic perspective, as well as her lay person's point of view that helps hone in the "real" world of commodity trading in the pits. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in commodity trading as a career, especially women. It is vital to understand your motivations, your responses and the way the futures/options markets grew up...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Thomson Kneeland

    An interesting set of vignettes and stories in the trading pits of Chicago. Interesting to hear about the different personalities she encountered and all their quirks, as well as trials and tribulations. No this is not a book about trading, but for someone that has no experience in that world, it's interesting to get a sense of how the things operate in the trading pits. An interesting set of vignettes and stories in the trading pits of Chicago. Interesting to hear about the different personalities she encountered and all their quirks, as well as trials and tribulations. No this is not a book about trading, but for someone that has no experience in that world, it's interesting to get a sense of how the things operate in the trading pits.

  6. 4 out of 5

    James

    This was a disappointing book, the author doesn't say anything about how this business works, she just talks about the rowdy atmosphere, her fears, and a lot of the book is about her eating and drinking with others. Just a lot of blather. And the press reviews!!! Give me a break, nothing sexy here, or anything else of interest. This was a disappointing book, the author doesn't say anything about how this business works, she just talks about the rowdy atmosphere, her fears, and a lot of the book is about her eating and drinking with others. Just a lot of blather. And the press reviews!!! Give me a break, nothing sexy here, or anything else of interest.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kelley

    This book was very insightful, and I did learn a lot about trading, namely how scary a world it is for a woman. But, there was a lot of details about trading that I could have done without. A trader or someone who wants to trade would really love this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hanna

    Totally Chicago-centric.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lori Grant

    A should-read autobiography on women in business.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    This was a great book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    MikeFromQueens

    A somewhat interesting look into into the commodities and futures trading business. I enjoyed the author's picking up of new friends which provided new and different insights. A somewhat interesting look into into the commodities and futures trading business. I enjoyed the author's picking up of new friends which provided new and different insights.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laury

    Written by my cousin

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carley Garner

    Ms. Lynn puts an interesting spin on the word of commodities and the increading role that women are playing in it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Catz

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lulus

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  18. 5 out of 5

    Steven Schon

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joel

  22. 5 out of 5

    Isaiah

  23. 5 out of 5

    Costa Kazistov

  24. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  26. 4 out of 5

    Terese

  27. 4 out of 5

    Philippe

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anne Klein

  30. 4 out of 5

    Raza Ali

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