What is 'Take a Report'

Take a report is a phrase used to indicate the execution of a trade order; the expression has also become associated with other meanings, including "get lost" or "get out of my face." 

Breaking Down 'Take a Report'

Take a report first became popular in 2007 when Michael J. McCarthy, who was an executive with Citibank at the time, anonymously authored a blog entitled "Take a Report."  The edgy blog was a hit throughout the industry, but McCarthy lost his anonymity after accepting an invitation to deliver the keynote address, as his nom de plume "Large," at the Dallas Security Traders annual convention. Unmasked, McCarthy was promptly fired from his position at Citibank.

Traders and other Wall Street professionals have developed their own particular set of slang terms that outsiders often don’t understand. This pattern often repeats in groups of people that share particular experiences and stressors that outsiders don't or can't appreciate. Take a report still carries the meaning that a trade order is executed, but its use in the common conversations to indicate the more colloquial "get out of my face" or "you're done" is receding. Even its use in a more official capacity is likely jeopardized by the growing automation of trade execution.

This ebb and flow of slang terms is natural. And every few years, a new set of slang terms enters the trading vernacular, often prompting round-up articles that serve to translate the terms for their uninitiated readers. Entire books have been written with the purpose of cataloguing the latest financial buzzwords. Often, these expressions have a limited shelf life, or come into and then back out of vogue.

The Unsophisticated Origins of Take a Report

The expression take a report isn't exactly a sophisticated play on words, although the meaning of the phrase may not be readily apparent when taken out of a trading context. This holds true for many examples of trader lingo. In fact, the lack of sophistication is a bit of a hallmark of trader slang, given that many traders consider themselves to be street-smart and no-nonsense types who pride themselves more on native intelligence than on a series of accumulated degrees from elite business schools.

By comparison, the slang or jargon associated with futures trading, as distinguished from options trading, is relatively more cerebral in nature. Futures trading was for many years a way for those with a blue-collar background to enter the white-collar world of finance. This dynamic has all but disappeared with the rise of increasingly sophisticated trading technology and the elimination of many blue-collar jobs on the trading floor.

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