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Take a Report Definition

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What Is Take a Report?

“Take a report” is a financial industry phrase that was commonly used on physical trading floors of stock exchanges before the 2010s. Used by a floor trader, clerk, or market maker, the phrase was used to indicate the execution of a trade order and to report its details (also known as a fill).

Over time the expression also took on another (less common) connotation of not unlike “take a hike”—meaning, “you’re done” or “get lost.”

Key Takeaways

  • Take a report is a slang term used to report the completed execution of a trade and its details.
  • The phrase is also a trader’s expression of dismissal, meaning “you’re done” or “take a hike.”
  • The use of the phrase “take a report” used to be more common among open-outcry trading floors where traders worked in the same physical space.
  • The phrase also has a history associated with a once-famous blog of the same name that ran from 2006-2009.

Understanding Take a Report

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” stems from the days when physical trading floors flourished, and the lingo used on the floor spread to other financial and investment industry pros.

“Take a report” still carries the official meaning that a trade order is executed, but its use started to decline in the 2010s, jeopardized by the growing automation of trade execution. And its more colloquial use as a derogatory dismissal—the equivalent of  “get out of my face”—is receding as well.

This ebb and flow of colloquial finance talk is normal; and every few years, a new set of slang expressions 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 cataloging the latest financial buzzwords, such as the Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms. Often, these expressions have a limited shelf life—though sometimes they come back into 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.

Take a Report Goes Online

Though commonly used around open outcry floors, take a report became even more common—and in fact, reached an unusual level of notoriety—starting in 2006 when a blogger began posting on the website takeareport.com, No longer in use now, the website was very popular at the time among investment industry readers who could relate to its irreverent anecdotes, views, and slices of financial-industry life. However, much of the crude, profanity-laden humor was considered offensive by some.

Although takeareport.com’s author was anonymous, going only by the nom de plume “Large,” the notoriety that the blog brought earned them an invitation to deliver the keynote address at the Dallas Security Traders annual convention in 2008. Unmasked, “Large” turned out to be Michael J. McCarthy, who was a Citigroup vice-president at the time. He found himself promptly fired from his position as a trader, “for behavior that violated the firm’s code of conduct and policies,” as Citigroup formally announced. The events elevated the blog, which continued until 2009, to legendary status for a time.

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