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Mel Schnell- What A Name!

Mel Schnell- What a Name!

December 21, 2016

Chapter 46 in the exclusive series for Dynamic Commodities- becoming a commodities trader

Mel Schnell was Philipp Brother’s broker on the Commodities Exchange. He had the best name ever, and his wife’s name was Rochelle leading to a tongue twister of epic proportions.

It was my naive impression that the traders at the firm were rich, and they were but they could not hold a candle to Mel Schnell who had a business consisting of many brokers. Mel held multiple seats on futures exchanges all over the country and had the ultimate franchise business. Philipp Brothers was a major player in the futures markets in gold, silver and options. That meant that the firm did a huge volume of buying and selling on a daily basis. The volume would often move markets and Mel and his brokers would execute that business on the floor of the exchange in the commodity futures pits. In the days when regulation was far different than it became over the years, a big order to buy or sell that could move the market amounted to a license to print money. The floor broker would often sell or buy in front of or alongside the order and cover the long or short position within seconds booking a profit. This process repeated many times during the trading day added up to big bucks. At times, the exchange or regulators would slap Mel’s wrist with a fine or two for bad behavior by his brokers, but at that time it was pennies, the price of doing business. The bottom line was Mel Schnell was a very wealthy man.

Mel and his brokers would wine and dine the traders at Philipp Brothers. Strip clubs and whatever other indulgences the traders wanted were never a question and Mel would pick up the tab. Meanwhile, with each day that passed, Mel Schnell’s wealth grew. At holiday time, the gifts from Mel were off the hook. The latest television sets or the coolest new gadgets were the norm. And, it was Mel who delivered the tranny stripper to the desk for John Gruen’s birthday probably after a trip or two to the Bunch of Grapes.

Mel was a nice guy; sadly he passed away from kidney disease at the age of 50 in 1995.  The COMEX and NYMEX merger in 1994 occurred shortly before his death but he did not live to see the IPO of NYMEX in 2006 and subsequent takeover by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Those events would have made Mel Schnell’s considerable fortune much larger as he owned many seats on all of the exchanges.

Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities

Post Series: Origin Of A Commodities Trader

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