Harris Brumfield...

Discussion in 'Trading' started by TraDaToR, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. TraDaToR


    I came across this excerpt of one interview of 2005(http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=48901&highlight=HARRY+BRUMFIELD):

    "On one unemployment number day, I went into the release long a couple hundred T-notes. Right before the number came out the market was trading 12 bid at 13. The number came out moderately to seriously bearish.

    A few small sales stops were triggered and several brokers were peppering another broker who was bidding at even (the whole number — i.e., 98.00).The even bid broker looked like he had size (a large order ), and I started howling “Sold!” over and over. He was across the pit, but my voice was fairly loud and he recognized it. He immediately started yelling “Balance!” at me, which meant once he figured out how many contracts he had left to fill, he would tell me the exact number.

    Yelling “Sold!” like that means you want the entire order and you’re stuck with it all. But I didn’t have a clue how many contracts he had, except I could tell by his eyes that it was large. The whole time he was trying to figure out his balance, the market was sheer pandemonium. Usually the broker will give you a ballpark figure of how many contracts he has left. In this case, though, he didn’t give me an indication. By the time he gave me the number, around 90 seconds had passed and the market was 20 ticks lower. He had 2,200 contracts and, well, you can do the math. (Each tick in the Tnote was worth $31.25.).

    On the flip side, one day I was bullish and the Notes rallied about three-quarters of a point. I was long 1,300 to 1,400 contracts the whole way. I cut my position down to 800 contracts and went out to lunch. At the time, I was up right around seven digits.

    By the time I got back to the pit, the market had fallen to unchanged on the day and was dropping fast. I jumped into the pit and immediately doubledup my position. Eventually, I tripled up when the market dropped further. It wasn’t until near the end of the day — after the market had dropped even more — I decided I was wrong. Let me tell you, it was u-g-l-y, you ain’t got no alibi. By the time I had wiggled out of most of my position, the loss was double the size of my profit from earlier in the day.

    I knew I’d missed something, so later I scrolled through all the news for that day, and sure enough, there was a serious tax-cut comment around noon that I didn’t hear."

    This guy had huge balls as a pit trader, but this sounds more like gambling than trading to me. He was making and losing up to 8 figures per year and acknowledges he lost everything 3 times. Becoming the CEO of TT was a safer career path IMO...LOL. He was a visionary for that matter.

    Anybody has stories about him? Thanks
  2. Lucias


    Thanks for this. Fascinating... I imagine the huge costs of being on the floor played a role and from what I've heard, you had to take size in order to be able to get the brokers to trade with you.
  3. couple quick thoughts...

    first, do NOT take unhedged directional positions ahead of binary events unless you are fully prepared to lose huge. trust me. if you really want to see how fast you can make your heart beat, take a position in NG ahead of the weekly inventory number:eek:

    second, related to his second story, being up a huge amount of money for a day trader (not a position or maybe even a swing trader) and LEAVING your screens/pit is the definition of reckless and you get everything that happens to you. either sell everything, sell half, place a trailing stop or DON'T LEAVE while you're all in which he apparently was.

    third, you're right as CEO of TT he has less risk b/c only the people who use his products take the risk:p
  4. " By the time I got back to the pit, the market had fallen to unchanged on the day and was dropping fast. I jumped into the pit and immediately doubled up my position.

    Eventually, I tripled up when the market dropped further............"


    " losers average losers......."
    Paul jones.


    " offer 3000 at .70 ....... no.....!!! ........ sell 540 market.........:) "


  5. bone

    bone ET Sponsor

    His brother Frank is an excellent yield curve spread trader, and I stood next to his brother Hardy in the Note Pit in the new building ( later 90's ).

    Harris was an excellent electronic spread trader as well, especially with the DTB first coming online in Chicago in the 90's. Harris made Eurex in the late 90's. He didn't like the tiering and sightlines in the new pits, so he went electronic.

    Harris was the best correlation trader I ever knew of personally, Charlie D. was also an excellent correlation trader in the Bonds but that was before my time.

    Harris is a very prominent Mississippi State Alum and Booster, and he is a great guy and a smart businessman.
  6. TraDaToR


    OK, but still the different edges in the pit( order flow, B/A spread ) had to be huge to counterbalance the randomness of some of their behaviours... Like not even knowing what your position is, waiting for confirmations...It's unconceivable for us elec traders nowadays. I still think he should have blown up "definitely" doing what he did.

    Bone, do you know the story about Charlie D. losing money to force a "bad" local out of the market and the pit, teaching him a lesson... ?Someone told me this story when I was in Chicago, but as english is not my first language, I didn't understood everything...It sounded like a cool story.
  7. You didn't "understand" everything. Helping your broken English :)...taking a position ahead of NFP is a complete roll of the dice aka gambling. Harris admitted as much. He took the free money while it was there for the taking. Good for him.