I recently met up with Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS and a regular on CNBC for years, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Cashin has worked in the NYSE for nearly 50 years. During our talk he told a few amazing stories about how the place has changed during that time.
So I asked: How does he expect trading to change over the next 50 years? Here's what he had to say (transcript follows):
Morgan Housel: You've been here for about 50 years. What changes do you anticipate will take place over the next 50 years?
Arthur Cashin: That might be a bit of a fool's game, because I'm not sure that 30 years ago I would have accurately predicted where we've been. Obviously the move toward more and more technology and mechanization will be there. We're seeing growth in areas like artificial intelligence. There are away from this business things like hospitals turning their entire pharmacy departments over to a computer because the computer doesn't make simple human errors of misreading and mistyping. Can those improvements help here? Possibly, but having seen things like the Flash Crash, I want to make sure I see those checks and balances.
So I'd like to believe that it will broaden. That globally we will find a financial system that meshes together very, very well, but as again being prejudiced and being a human, I'd like to believe there'll be some two-legged folks running around at the end, still saying, Check the system and make sure it works.