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RCS Sidelines


June 17, 2008 12:45 PM

Wall Street Consumed By Tiger

So who's to most to blame for our economic woes? Sub-prime mortgage lenders? CEOs? Congress? The President?

According to CNBC sports blogger Darren Rovell, the answer -- at least from noon to 4pm yesterday -- may be none of the above. During those times, the correct answer may just have been Tiger Woods.

[Trading] theoretically slowed down four hours of the trading day. Well, this morning, I got the hard numbers from our number cruncher Ariel Nelson.

Check this out:

Average New York Stock Exchange Volume, between 12-4 pm. (last 30 days): 781.5 million shares traded.

New York Stock Exchange Volume between 12-4 pm (yesterday): 709.9 million shares traded.

That's a drop in trading on the NYSE of 9.2 percent. In fact, it was the lowest trading day since the Friday and Tuesday that sandwiches Memorial Day weekend.

trader17.jpg

An anonymous buy-side Wall Street trader (aka a friend of mine) expanded on the Rocco/Tiger-induced NYSE lethargy. "There was absolutely a monstrous drop off in productivity in trading. I myself did nothing and watched the entire coverage while on the phone with a friend, while the rest of my company was huddled around the TV."

But maybe, just maybe, other trading shops kept their noses down and avoided the symptoms of the "Tiger Effect?" Not likely says our friend. "The phones in our office completely stopped ringing except for guys in other shops who were calling because they either didn't have televisions or their companies blocked access to usopen.com."

You have to wonder what's worse for productivity: trying to do work while watching the US Open coverage or trying to do work while desperately trying to find the US Open coverage.

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