The FX department you applied for gave a presentation. They said the dominant technologies are
· Swing still works but being replaced by C# (WPF, Silverlight)
· Messaging – RV, EMS, multicast (I think he means RV or JMS multicasting)
· Socket programming
· Grid computing
· FIX protocol
Compared to muni, I feel FX has more front end UI systems, because FX has a more diverse client base. Muni has no or limited client-facing UI, because muni investors call their financial analysts to trade. In contrast, FX system has a large number of retail customers (using web) and smaller number (700?) of institutional clients including exporters, governments, airlines, manufacturers, commercial banks who often receive and pay out in multiple currencies. These institutional clients get to use a “professional” front end system, swing/WPF, not web-base, even though connection is over internet. Both muni and FX systems have a lot of (20 – 30) intranet UI systems in http or swing.
Risk system takes in current prices (fast changing) and estimates unrealized PnL on the dealer’s book i.e. trading account.
Even if we include FX options (not futures), most FX trading is OTC. CME is listing fx option contracts and some big dealers (like MS) are following. Some instruments (futures..) are guaranteed by exchanges such as CME. In comparison, most muni trading is OTC, since muni is a dealer market, with a few small brokers in between.