Day One Trader: A Liffe Story


The catastrophic events of 2008 prove that the financial world has not learnt the lessons of my own tragic tale. But anyone who thinks that the world of derivatives is just about greedy bankers who put our pensions and savings at risk is wrong. Day One Trader is the gripping chronicle ofthe unknown working heroes of the Liffe floor who shattered a glass ceiling of elitism in the City of London and helped build one of the few financial institutions that we can be proud of.
Nick Leeson

"As I walked into the members entrance of the exchange for the first time on September 30 1982 I felt a buzz of excitement. I had realised my ambition of being a "day-one trader". Inside, the fluorescent lit exchange floor bustled with about three hundred traders in orange, red and blue jackets. A brief opening ceremony was overseen by Gordon Richardson, the governor of the Bank of England, before he cut a white ribbon hanging above a pulpit overlooking the floor. I felt at fever pitch as we counted down the start of trading. "Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one!" The bell rang and I watched a scrum of dealers scramble to trade Liffe's first ever contracts in a heap of frenetic energy."
From Day One Trader

Day One Trader is the exclusive story of John Sussex on his journey from son of a Basildon factory worker, leaving school at 16, to successful City financier and member of the Liffe board.

Providing a unique insight to this competitive and often brutal industry, readers will discover the tactics used by dealers to survive the jungle of the pits in a story that chronicles the floor banter and characters that made Liffe a global derivatives powerhouse.

Packed full of exclusive – until now unreported – stories, Day One Trader sheds new light on what motivated characters such as Nick Leeson, and provides insight to Liffe floors star traders.

Financial experts and novices alike will be gripped by Sussex’s account of the highs and lows of a career that spanned almost three decades in the history of the financial markets.

"John Sussex lived by the mantra of My Word is My Bond. This makes Day One Trader a must read for all traders. Every page brings back a lifetime of trading memories of days that will never be the same."
—David Barnett, Global Head of Treasury, Royal Bank of Canada

"Day One Trader describes a journey through a world that came and went in too short a time. The Liffe floor challenged the status quo in the City of London in the early eighties and was itself killed off by technology in the late nineties. John Sussex was one of the great characters of that world and a man of the utmost integrity."
—Richard Berliand J.P. Morgan, Chairman Futures & Options

John Sussex retired after a 33-year career in the financial markets. He lives in Basildon, Essex, the place of his birth. After leaving his local comprehensive school with few qualifications he began working as an accounts clerk in the City of London at the age of 16. Sussex went on to become a highly successful trader at the London International Financial Futures Exchange (Liffe) and set up his own brokerage business. He also served on the board of Liffe. He is married and has two children.

Joe Morgan is a financial journalist who lives in London. He has served as a correspondent for the Times and has written extensively about the latest developments in trading technology and the financial markets. Morgan was inspired by the idea of revealing to a mass audience the hidden reality of the world of high finance after landing his first job as a capital markets reporter. He has a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism from Cardiff University. This is his first book.

1. The Chicago Inferno.

2. A New Liffe.

3. What's in a Name?

4. Laws of the Jungle.

5. The Royal Exchange Days.

6. Local Heroes.

7. The Crash of 1987.

8. Cannon Bridge Boom.

9. The Omen.

10. Crimes and Misdemeanours.

11. Bubble.

12. The Liffe Board.

13. My Rogue Trader.

14. Liffe After the Floor.

15. The Last Hurrah.