Pi, from Tom Larsen

March 5, 2007 |

 Pi is one of my 2 favorite movies with a trading theme. When I watch that movie, I think, "I know people like that!" Charts and computers everywhere and nobody knows what they're talking about. Their heads are pounding. So the hero is a little obsessed with the market…which reminds me of a favorite quote from the book, "The World According to Garp," when the wrestling coach tells Garp, "You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed!"

The other movie is Trading Places, which I first saw in the theater with other members of the Pacific Stock Exchange after the close one day back in the 80s. What a great time we had! Here are a few lines where the evil Duke brothers cross-examine the street person they plan to turn into a trader. Billy Ray cuts through market analytical baloney to get to the real psychology of the market:

Randolph Duke: "Exactly why do you think the price of pork bellies is going to keep going down, William?"

Billy Ray Valentine: "Okay, pork belly prices have been dropping all morning, which means that everybody is waiting for it to hit rock bottom, so they can buy low. Which means that the people who own the pork belly contracts are saying, 'Hey, we're losing all our damn money, and Christmas is around the corner, and I ain't gonna have no money to buy my son the G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip! And my wife ain't gonna f… my wife ain't gonna make love to me if I got no money!' So they're panicking right now, they're screaming 'SELL! SELL!' to get out before the price keeps dropping. They're panicking out there right now, I can feel it."

Randolph Duke: [on the ticker machine, the price dropping] "He's right, Mortimer! My God, look at it!"

Bernd Dittmann adds:

Bearing in mind Dr. Niederhoffer's enthusiasm for the book "Secrets of Turf Betting", I propose to add 1973’s "Sting," starring Redford, Newman et al to the Specs’s movies list. The similarity between the "Sting's" plot, bucket shops from the early twentieth Century and present day counterparts (spread betting firms and alike) is striking. Besides the movie's relevance to speculation, both Newman's and Redford's performances are stellar, even in their earlier years.





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