The End Of E? Essay

3779 words - 15 pages

The End of e? As commodity trading is being dominated more and more by technology, the Internet economy is becoming passé as it evolves into part of the mainstream global economy. Daniel Batts of Tullett & Tokyo Liberty plc reflects on the hype and explores the increasing focus on blending technology with existing old economy practices in order to establish effective hybrid broking services in the European Power markets.From Pigeons to Electrons E-mail, e-commerce, e-business, e-marketplace, e-exchange, E*Trade, ePower, eSpeed "¦ no one could have predicted the extent to which electronic trading has exploded into all markets. The future sometimes has a way of arriving unannounced. Not long ago when eMoney4nothing.com was lining our pockets and profits were an unnecessary evil, the only sound on everyone's lips was 'e'. No one can dispute the incredible Internet zeitgeist of the late 1990s and the meteoric rise of 'e' into mainstream thought, but now that reality has kicked-in and profits have again become de rigueur, is it the end of 'e'? 'E' is not a new phenomenon limited only to the last decade. The basis for today's electronic networks, supporting price dissemination and trading has been around since Marco Polo was trading on the Great Silk Road. Then Baron Paul Julius von Reuter extended the idea of communicating trading data by establishing the carrier-pigeon share prices network of 1849. At that time it provided a practical and pragmatic approach for price discovery and distribution. Although telegraph was emerging as the new way forward, pigeons still provided a cost effective and widely available approach and gave a significant competitive advantage to those recipients who subscribed.In World War I telegraph wires were used to order urgent supplies and provisions to the frontline using electronic messages providing us with one of the first real examples of exploiting e-commerce. The 1960s saw a cooperative effort between industry groups in transmitting common data formats for transactions such as purchasing, and in the late 1970s work began on Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standards, and e-commerce based on private networks such as Galileo and BACs, that are still used today.In the 1980s foreign exchange trading on the Reuters Dealing System enabled traders to communicate with each other and displayed near real time bids and offers, (little did Baron Reuter know where technology would eventually take his feathered concept!) Today that has all changed with high volume real-time trading across the broader financial community including equity, fixed-income and foreign exchange markets. However, the deregulation of global power markets, coinciding with the emergence of the ubiquitous and cost effective delivery of the Internet, appears to have fuelled a disproportionate amount of interest in e-trading initiatives in the commodities and energy markets.In the dot.com world hyperbole took away a real sense of...

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