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A trader's ringside seat

Every once in a while a fight breaks out on the Wall Street playground. As soon as someone sees one starting to simmer they scream, "FIGHT!" and everyone gathers around to watch. I've been ringside for a few of these epic battles. They usually never disappoint. It's dirty. No rules. Hair pulling is not only accepted, but rewarded.

I remember when I jumped to Argus Partners when it was spun off from the Galleon Group. Actually "spun off" is nice way of categorizing a bloody coup. Raj Rajaratnam was not happy at all with the defection of Krishen Sud and his health-care team (including me.) So when I began making calls to the big brokerages on the Street to let them know Argus was in business, it wasn't a surprise that I received an icy reception. Raj and Gary Rosenbach had told all of Galleon's sales coverage that if they did business with Argus Partners, they couldn't do business with them.

It's ugly: I know most hedge-fund managers would rather go through a sticky divorce and custody battle than deal with a former employee-turned-competitor.

The high-frequency trading debate that erupted this week on the NYSE and CNBC was worthy of making the "best of" reel. Click ahead for some of the best battles in Wall Street history.

By Turney Duff
Turney Duff, a CNBC.com contributor, is a former trader at the hedge fund Galleon Group. He chronicled the spectacular rise and fall of his career on Wall Street in the book, "The Buy Side." Follow him on Twitter @turneyduff.

April 4, 2014

John Shepherd | Vetta | Getty Images