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Film review: Floored (2009)



Floored is a 2009 documentary that looks at the people and businesses in the Chicago trading floors and the impact the shift to electronic trading has had.

Director James Allen Smith interviews several long-term traders, some of whom have been very successful, to gain an insight into the industry and highlight their experiences. Some of the anecdotes are shocking, as the interviewees give no-holds barred accounts detailing the competiveness of in-person floor trading and the lengths some would go to.

Many of those interviewed are brutally honest about the industry, with one describing it as a form of “gambling”.

The film shows the people who were on the ground of the trading business and explores how being in the industry has affected them. It also assesses the impact of anonymous electronic trading. One of the interviewees states that many who used to be very successful working on the floor have struggled to transfer this success to the digital age and remain relevant.

One person says, “We had as much as 500 people when I was there, now we have maybe 50 guys. A lot of the business has gone to electronic trading.”

Floored offers an interesting insight into the world of stocks, high frequency trading and the people in the industry. However, the film does have a narrow scope and could have benefitted from additional information on trading and showing how trades impact the rest of the world.