We spoke to three Morgan Stanley trade desk dudes and the conversations were ‘illuminating’ to say the least.
**A brief description of a Morgan Stanley trade desk dude – early 30’s, unmarried, adrenaline-addicted, and in a constant search for volatility to produce market-beating performance and year-end bonuses. Good, got that out of the way.**
These three guys are all well versed in cryptocurrency lingo and practice, as each was able to produce proof that they owned cryptos. Our conversations were promised to keep their identities anonymous.
One trader talked about the lust for volatility: “Price movements are everything for a trader. The larger the swings the better. As we execute or either the firm or institutional clients, the more volatility the better. If pushes action in large accounts and keeps emotions on edge. Even the choppy movement in the equity indexes over the past three months have been useful in that regard. But cryptos…fuck, dude. The volatility in Bitcoin alone would be better than sex for us! Movements of 10%-20% over the course of 24 hours. Huge!
Another trader echoed the profit potential: “Just take the idea that these things trade 24 hours a day and seven days a week. That alone would create renewed profitability on trade desks everywhere. And, of course, the volatility would make bank execs wet. That is why bean counters (lawyers) here are working overtime trying to quantify risks and policies to get us on, at a minimum, Bitcoin, and Ethereum.”
Our final contact kept things short: “Give me all of the cryptos and watch what I could do for this place. Clients won’t stop asking about them. I’ve not seen anything like this in my career. I’ve heard, from oldheads, what it was like in 98-99 with the dot-com bubble. But even those guys say this is bigger and more emotionally driven. We’d make a sh** ton if we had access, institutionally speaking.”