Until Wabash Alloys LLC disappeared last year into a larger company, acquired by Aleris International Inc., Beachwood, Ohio, the smelter chain's purchasing chief was a key player in U.S. aluminum scrap.
Joe Rosengarten, Wabash's former vice president for raw materials, now lives in Chicago and trades commodities and financial futures, largely avoiding aluminum. "I'm quasi-retired right now. I make a lot less than I made at Wabash, but I also work about an hour a day." He said that he's been fortunate so far in the outcome of his transactions.
"I was a Comex trader at one time, a floor trader in copper, so it's not foreign to me. It's a lot more pleasurable doing it by the Internet than having to screech," he said. Rosengarten's commodities trading was for Carr Futures Inc., which eventually became part of Newedge Financial LLC.
Despite his years buying aluminum and assessing its price movements, Rosengarten doesn't find that metal useful to his current activity. "When you're a trader, you're really more interested in the volatility than in anything else," he said. "I trade more gold and silver, and a bit of copper."
Rosengarten began specializing in nonferrous materials right out of college. "I learned the metals business at Commercial Metals (Co.), from a guy named Bob Melendi, and George Ribet, my first boss. George is president of Hunter Douglas (Metals Inc.) now and Bob is a vice president at Commercial Metals still—both great guys and two of the most knowledgeable people in the metals business I ever met."