Strap on Your Seat Belts!

Program traders shake the exchanges with swift transactions

The day is quiet, at first, for 26-year-old Joseph Schmuckler, program trader for Kidder Peabody. The blinking number on his computer screen, which will signal him when it is time to unleash his electronic firepower, is advising him to wait. But suddenly the stock market begins to move downward, and the telltale digit on Schmuckler's screen starts changing like a countdown at Cape Canaveral. The trader and his two assistants erupt in a frenzy of shouted telephone conversations as they advise colleagues in New York City and Chicago to get ready for a blast of trading orders. "Strap on your seat...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!