The floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange in lower Manhattan is one of the rare places the complex interplay between the ‘real’ economy of infrastructure and goods and the financial economy of data sets and dizzying amounts of money can be seen in action.

In an increasingly computerized trading world, floor traders at Nymex, since 2008 part of the globe-spanning exchange powerhouse CME Group, are an increasingly rare breed involved in an increasingly unusual occupation. But for pure dramatic representation of the financial economy at work, nothing conveys the reach and reality of the trading universe like a busy pit moving contracts in real commodities.

Breaking Energy visited the Nymex floor recently and spoke with Blu Putnam, Managing Director and Chief Economist at CME Group about a wide array of topics pertaining to energy. In this first video of four, he gives us his outlook on the US economy, which he notes is growing in part because of lower energy prices, and discusses the impact of European volatility and a much-discussed but little-quantified slowdown in the Chinese economy.

Look for the next three videos over the coming days here on Breaking Energy, and hear Blu’s insight on how big data is changing the energy business, how energy infrastructure is adapting to economic pressures, and how oil and gas markets are changing.

Read more about Bluford Putnam on CME Group’s site here, and discuss your outlook for the economy and what it means for the energy sector here.