I'm not sure what the loss of floor trading means to our mental images of "The Market". Maybe nothing, since it has essentially already occurred. But judging from the previews on this documentary, ours is not the only threatened lifestyle in agriculture.
Chicago’s open-outcry nostalgists can now watch their slow- motion obituary on film. “Floored,” a documentary that premieres in the city tonight, captures the fading swagger of its exchange pits as electronic trading takes over.
Traders and former traders in the film recount drug-fueled road trips with prostitutes, living in mansions, and a crash that included divorce and having to take a $400-a-week job.
The numbers in Chicago’s pits peaked in 1997, with about 10,000 traders flailing their arms with buy and sell signals in a daily scrum of sweating and shouting, said Steve Prosniewski, a trader who’s one of the film’s producers. Less than 10 percent of those remain, he said. [More]
More immediately for the media is what "visual" to use to express the idea of the market. Floor trading was great economic theater, and a bunch of guys sitting at computers doesn't convey the same idea.
Maybe that's a good thing. Our markets are now less like casinos and more like eBay perhaps.