Trial by Fire
I was walking onto the floor of the Commodities Exchange Center (CEC), formerly within the World Trade Center in New York City. It was 1984; the gold market had just gone through its most bullish price move in history and was in the midst of its postbubble collapse. I felt the same buzz that I used to have when I played basketball in college. The trading floor reminded me of a basketball court—it had that same electric energy coursing through the air. And, I was drawn to it from a place deep within my body.
Given the events of that dreadful day in September 2001, I hesitate even to mention the Twin Towers. But it is important to understand the significance of those buildings. The World Trade Center (WTC) was a testament to the development of global trade after the gold standard was abolished and also was evidence of the burgeoning wealth just beginning to be created in the downtown canyons and exchanges.
The gleaming Twin Towers embodied the proud-to-be-an-American feeling that permeated the country in 1984. There was a groundswell of new confidence that started at the bottom, worked its way up the ladder of wealth, and emanated from the fiscal and foreign policies implemented by Ronald Reagan. President Reagan had also restored a sense of pride in the average U.S. citizen, following the disastrous confidence hit during the Carter administration. Moreover, Paul Volcker, chairman of the Federal Reserve System, had played hardball with monetary policy during ...

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