High-Cost High Jinks

High-Cost High Jinks

When times get bad, traders get bored -- and mischievous. Recessionary restlessness got so out of hand lately at the Pacific Stock Exchange in Los Angeles that a rule was invoked fining rubber-band snappers and spitball snipers as much as $5,000; first-time offenders pay $1,000. At the Philadelphia exchange, anyone throwing a punch on the floor is fined $1,000. First-time practical jokers at the New York exchange pay $250. It is a language that traders understand. Since the rule was initiated in Los Angeles, not a single rubber band has been spotted zinging across the floor.

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