Securities markets have been volatile lately (to say the least), worrying people in all walks of life. But that volatility has had the most day-to-day impact on the working lives of the people who populate A Million a Minute: Inside the World of Securities Trading—The Men, the Women, the Money That Makes the Markets Work, by Hillary Davis. Traders are the people in the trenches of our financial markets (including those people in funny looking jackets screaming at each other in futures trading pits). They may trade for themselves, for the firm they work for, or execute trades for clients. Even in calmer times than these, it's not an occupation for the faint of heart.

Davis, a former fund manager at Barings Brothers in London, provides an upbeat look at traders, their history, and codes of conduct. She's talked to and profiles a lot of the big names in the trading world and explains how technology has (and will) radically change the workings of markets and, with it, the role of traders.

Neal Lipschutz is managing editor of Dow Jones News Service.

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