Play examines greed and envy on the trading floor

Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:27am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - A new play set on the bond trading floor of a leading British investment bank examines how clashing egos, greed and vanity can push people to take huge risks with money that is not theirs.

"Roaring Trade," written by Steve Thompson, was completed by mid-2008, before the worst of the credit crisis hit markets.

But it hints at the trouble to come, helps audiences comprehend how so much money can be lost so quickly, and puts a human face on the financial meltdown.

"There was a sense in the market for about a year that things had reached the top," Thompson told Reuters. "That sort of inhabits the play a little bit," added the 41-year-old playwright, who spent time on a real trading floor as research.

The play centers around four main characters. Donny is a cocky, successful working class trader who boasts of his triumphs and thrives on excessive risk-taking.

Spoon is a young, well-to-do newcomer to the team, and the rivalry between them quickly turns into a costly grudge match.

PJ is an older dealer disillusioned by the fast-living, heavy-drinking lifestyle, while Jess uses feminine charms and financial acumen to stay ahead of the game.

Thompson said he was keen not to judge his characters, despite the growing unpopularity of so-called "city slickers" who some people blame for the banking crisis.   Continued...

<p>Late afternoon autumn shadows are cast on a building wall in London's financial district Canary Wharf October 30, 2007. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs</p>