Byline: ROBERT MENDICK
IT'S 8am at BGC Partners and the brokers almost exclusively male, most of them with East End accents are already screaming at each other.
They have taken off their jackets, loosened their ties and rolled up their sleeves. In front of them are banks of computer screens while the telephones around them don't stop ringing.
A man wearing a pin-striped blue shirt and with an American accent screams out: "Let's just get on and sort out this f***ing problem. No more f***ing around." The FTSE is already falling and it's still only 10 past eight. It's going to be a long day and a long week.
BGC's own Starbucks concession on the trading floor is already doing a roaring business.
Many of the brokers have already been working through the night completing deals with the banks in Asia.
Others have arrived at their desks by 6am, ready for trading at 8am, trying to comprehend what will happen next in the aftermath of last night's Congressional vote to scupper George Bush's $700 billion banking rescue package.
BGC essentially acts as an agency broker for banks across a range of financial products.
What happens on this trading floor, and on other trading floors like it, could decide in the coming days the future of the banking industry.
These are the middlemen, dealing in such esoteric products as exotics, swaptions, inflation swaps and straddles.
These are worrying times alright.
Outside of the shouting, more rational sounding voices will say things like: "That takes us off the three-year, 10 dollar strangle." The language may occasionally be baffling but the consequences are clear.
Ordinary people's jobs, money and mortgages are seriously under threat from the greatest financial crisis for 80 years.
As the BGC brokers switched their computer screens on this morning they were greeted by their regular, daily corporate email sent by David Buik, a senior partner at the firm.
His missive begins with a miserable poem by Rudyard Kipling that commences: "A Rose, in tatters on the garden path, Cried out to God and murmured 'gainst His Wrath." It goes on to urge staff to say a prayer for Joanne Woodward, the widow of Paul Newman, before getting down to the business of the day the fiasco caused by the Congress vote.
Mr Buik writes: "Sometimes one has to ask from which planet self indulgent politicians in the United States come from.
"One thing is for sure, they don't come from the same planet as human beings who breathe air and have blood in their veins. This is insanity." It is a sentiment that will be echoed throughout the City in the coming days..
A SETBACK BUT NOT THE END . …