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NoiseLiving and Trading in Electronic Finance$
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Alex Preda

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226427348

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226427515.001.0001

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Taking On the Market

Taking On the Market

Competitions and Spectacle in Trading

(p.91) Chapter Three Taking On the Market

Alex Preda

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 3 looks at an aspect deemed to be crucial with respect to market transactions: trading competitions. While the textbook definition of competitions is often predicated upon market activities, in practice competition is exercised mostly in a carefully managed, staged way. The chapter looks at trading competitions as a regular feature of shows and conventions and asks, Why are they so significant as dramatic displays, when in the practice of trading, we rarely (if ever) encounter purely competitive moments, simply because the institutional setup does not allow competition? This chapter examines close up the organization and inner workings of trading competitions, the position and role of the public and the dynamic of competitors. Competitions, argues the chapter, have to solve a series of moral issues pertaining to what it means to be a trader. Attributes such as discipline, resilience, or cunning have to be put on display for the benefit of the trading public. Collective displays become more difficult in an online trading environment, where participants are not all on the same trading floor. Therefore, trading competitions are staged as a spectacle where trading-relevant attributes are showcased for the benefit of audiences.

Keywords:   competitions, trading shows, morality, spectacle, public, competitors

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