Those Other Keys

Sharp-eyed 3Go1Go’ers can’t help but notice that, besides “3”, “1”, and “Go-Enter” (which, together, constitute the sustaining life force of today’s fixed income salesperson), there are several other keys on the standard Bloomberg keyboard. Some of those keys are Bloomberg-specific, and seventeen or eighteen of them were probably intended to represent the letters of our alphabet.Image result for bloomberg keyboard

For 3Go1Go-ing, though, those other keys are irrelevant. So then, what is that “L” doing there? How about “B”? And that double-sized “Shift” key? What’s that about?

We don’t actually know. We have seen the “K” key used occasionally by buy-siders as a courteous alternative to simply ignoring an incoming message. It’s a thoughtful way for an unbelievably busy 25-year-old trading legend to tell some hapless relic: “I am aware of your existence, and I think that I would be sad for a few moments if you passed on. Or perhaps not.”

Here’s how it’s done:

Salesman’s Message:

“Our analyst has changed his opinion regarding the big money center banks and investment banks. He now believes that they will all go tits-up in the next few days, and that they will take the entire financial system with them, which will cause massive bank runs and social violence on a scale not seen since the final days of Rome.”

Buy-Side Trader’s Response:


Of course, some keys that once served the function of spelling out words like “Thank” or “You” have now fallen into disuse. What follows is an approximate timeline describing the evolutionary process whereby the grueling practice of indicating gratitude by painstakingly pecking out a complex two-word, 9-key response has been gradually replaced by the less stressful (and less time-intensive!) act of doing absolutely nothing to acknowledge the receipt of the message or even the existence of the sender:

Salesman’s message:

“I begged our research department to compile that list you requested of all privately-owned Romanian animal feed companies with outstanding bank debt denominated in drachma. It took them three weeks. Eight members of our analyst team were captured, shot, decapitated, and eaten by diehard Ceaucescu loyalist guerrillas, but they got the job done. The report is attached.”

Buy-Side Trader Response:


“Thank You”










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