‘Twas the night before Christmas,
when along Wall Street
Not a trader was speaking,
even short sellers were discreet;
The last transactions were dispatched with care,
In hopes of creating one more billionaire;
Strategists were nestled deep in their beds,
While visions of higher trading volume danced in their heads;
And Spitzer with his phone calls, and
Whitehead’s reply rap

Had frightened the smart money into a long winter’s nap.
But over at the ECNs there arose a clatter;
Forcing specialists to ask, What the heck is the matter?
And away to the Big Board they flew like a flash,
And screamed that their monopoly soon would crash.
The brand was sagging from new competition,
Giving momentum and power and threatening attrition;
But in truth the real change to appear,
Was a fresh choice of venue, for which investors did cheer,
With digital trading, so lively and quick,
They knew in a moment that this was no schtick.
So they sprang to their computers, and mice did click,
To trade on systems where commissions don’t prick.
They sang to accountants, to daughters and sons,
All’s not lost, save maybe a bank run.
But then one finally proclaimed, ere the trading finally ceased,
Maybe this time, just once, we won’t get fleeced.