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Friends, Colleagues Share What Makes Art Cashin So Special

Friends, Colleagues Share What Makes Art Cashin So Special

UBS Group AG (NYSE: UBS) Director of Floor Operations Art Cashin rang the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday morning.

It was the anniversary of his numerous years on the trading floor -- 50, to be exact.

And the Street definitely noticed.

Cashin told Benzinga that he had been booked with interviews through the close of Tuesday's session, so we asked a few other floor traders what they thought of one man’s half century on the trading floor.

Residential Historian

Cashin has become the resident historian at the New York Stock Exchange, CNBC Contributor and Insana’s Market Intelligence Author Ron Insana told Benzinga.

“Art can tell you everything from the Buttonwood Accord on,” he said. The Buttonwood Accord was an agreement signed between 24 brokers under a buttonwood tree in 1792 that formed the modern-day NYSE (back then it was called the New York Stock And Exchange).

Cashin has been at the NYSE for a large part of modern history. He’s equipped with hands-on experiences like the crash of 1987. Insana said Cashin was “instrumental” in telling everyone what was happening on Black Monday.

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Insana said Cashin was also there during the banking crisis of 1990, the Peso crisis, the Orange County Bankruptcy, the Asia crisis in 1997, the dot-com boom, and much, much more.

An Institution

Kenny Polcari, meanwhile, told Benzinga that Cashin is “an institution.”

Polcari has been on the trading floor for 30 years, and currently serves as the director of NYSE Floor Operations for O'Neil Securities.

“He’s certainly seen more than anybody who’s here today has seen,” he said.

But it’s not just the length of Cashin’s time on the floor that makes him remarkable. Traders admire the the way he recalls it.

“The history that’s in his head is just amazing, because he remembers it as if it just happened,” Polcari added.


Before Cashin had ever been on television, his daily market comments were circulated among the NYSE floor traders.

The commentary was handwritten, and somewhat legendary, Insana explained.

Cashin would open every day with a historical reference: “On this day in history, Marie Antoinette was beheaded,” followed by some information about the French Revolution, for example.

“Then he would say: ‘Traders lost their heads yesterday over different things and a revolutionary sell-off,’” Insana said.

“He would link the market commentary to the day in history, and it would always flow really nicely.”

Meridian Equity Partners Senior Managing Partner Jonathan Corpina also pointed out that Cashin has sat on every single committee at the NYSE.

Amid the market and economic turmoil that has occurred over the past few decades, Cashin has been the reassuring voice of reason, Corpina added, because he always maintained a level head during a panic.

“Arthur always seems to have a way of bringing things back into perspective."

Part Of The Fabric

Polcari called Cashin a “sage investor,” and said that he threw himself 1,000 percent into his work. 

“The New York Stock Exchange has been his career. He started there and never left. He’s part of the fabric of the place."

Image credit: Public Domain


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