Christian Siva-Jothy was Head of Proprietary Trading with Goldman Sachs. (Prop trading is when firms trade for themselves rather than on behalf of customers for fees.)
Siva-Jothy made his name on seemingly high-risk trades he made in the immediate wake of the first airliner crash into the World Trade Center in 2001.
“The first thing I noticed on the TV was that it was a perfectly clear blue sky day. I’m a helicopter pilot and I’ve been flying for 14 years. I know that when you’ve got a plane that’s going down, you don’t aim for the tallest building to fly into.
“I immediately thought, ‘terrorist act’. I figured this was going to whack consumer sentiment… I bought Eurodollars…
Markets can be Unbelievably Slow to React
“Strangely, I think they rallied no more than 13 basis points on the day. Markets can be unbelievably slow to figure out the consequences of big events.”
The capacity of markets to react slowly to events was also noted by Jesse Livermore, who said:
“The Street paid no attention to the earthquake the first day or two. They’ll tell you that it was because the first dispatches were not so alarming, but I think it was because it took so long to change the point of view of the public toward the securities markets. Even the professional traders for the most part were slow and shortsighted.”
Christian Siva-Jothy’s Favorite Book – Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
Interestingly enough, it turns out that Christian Siva-Jothy is well acquainted with Jesse Livermore. When asked – by Steven Drobny, in The House of Money – “Are there any books that you recommend to your traders,” Siva-Jothy responded:
“My favorite book in relation to markets is Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefèvre. I’ve probably read it four or five times, and I love it every time I read it. He talks about everything, about risk, about hubris, about passion, everything.”