7, 2007 - gold price per troy ounce = $845.50 (28-year
- James Man established sugar broking business; 1860
- Edward Desborough Man and Frederick Man (grandsons) ran firm;
1994 - Man Group plc listed on London Stock
Exchange; March 2000 - group of directors and
senior managers acquired agricultural businesses in a management
buy-out; company operated successfully as employee-owned
1848 - Commodity
futures trading in North America spurred by construction of
Illinois-Michigan Canal, growth of Lake Michigan commerce that
followed, confluence of innovations (grain elevators, railroads,
grain exchanges, forward contract); canal allowed farmers in
hinterlands along Illinois River to ship grain to Lake Michigan
dealers, who sent much of it to Chicago; elevators, railroad
facilitated high-volume grain storage and shipment; commodity
exchanges, spawned from boards of trade along Lakes Erie,
Michigan, St. Clair, established system of staple grades,
standards, inspections that rendered grain fungible; made
organized trading in spot and forward markets possible;
April 3, 1848
- 83 merchants founded Board of Trade of the City (CBOT) at 101
South Water Street; Thomas Dyer elected first president;
1856 - 122 new members admitted; 1859 -
received charter from State of Illinois;
premier organized grain exchange;
March 1863 -
adopted its first rules, procedures for trading in forward
contracts; May 1865 -
formalized grain trading; transformed actively traded, largely
homogeneous forward contracts into standardized agreements,
called "futures contracts"; 1868 - Board of
Directors stated any members engaging in transaction to corner
market would be expelled from trading;
1874 - Chicago
Produce Exchange (CPE) established; ; 1877 -
futures trading became more formalized, "speculators" entered
picture; 1878 - trading pit patented;
1898 - CPE renamed
Chicago Butter and Egg Board; 1919
- renamed Chicago Merantile Exchange; futures trading grew
enormously; public’s perception of its legitimacy, calls to
more-heavily regulate it waxed and waned.
September 24, 1869
Friday": financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to inflate
and corner the gold market (spread a rumor that President Grant
was about to stop the sale of government gold); sent Wall Street
into a panic, left thousands of investors in financial ruin;
Grant eventually saw through the scheme, put $4 million worth of
gold on the market; price of gold in specie fell to $133 from
$163.50; swindle blemished Grant's record, Gould dumped his
holdings before the price drop, Fisk took hefty loss.
May 21, 1878
- Reuben S. Jennings, of Chicago, Il, received a patent for an
"Improvement in Trading-Pits" ("to be used by stock, provision,
and grain boards, or boards of trade or exchange, or other
associations of a like nature, as a convenient stand while
trading...in the form or approximating a circle or octagon, or
of other convenient shape or form, facing each other...and is,
for convenience, made in sections, so as to be easily removed,
and it is ventilated or warmed through apertures").
- Federal government established Grain Futures Administration to
regulate grain trading; 1923 - U.S. Supreme Court
upheld Capper-Tincher Act (Grain Futures Act) to eliminate price
manipulation, other trade abuses; 1925 - Chicago
Board of Trade Directors given authority to
situation, establish daily price limits; 26.9 billion bushels of
grain traded; 1926 - Board of Trade Clearing
Corporation founded to guarantee trades made on CBOT; 1929
- CBOT seat sold for $62,500, record at the time; 1936
- launched Soybean futures contracts; 1956 -
introduced industry's first examination for commodity brokers;
1968 - iced broilers, first non-grain related
commodity, began trading; 1969 - began trade in
Silver futures contract, first non-grain product; 1973
- started Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), world's first
stock options exchange; government established Commodity Futures
Trading Commission to regulate futures industry; 1975
- launches first interest rate futures contract, Government
National Mortgage Association futures; 1977 -
launched U.S. Treasury Bond futures contract; became most
actively traded contract in world; January 7-8, 1980
- closed by CFTC order; suspended trading after President Carter
placed embargo on grain shipments to Soviet Union; October
1, 1982 - launched first options on futures contract,
for U.S. Treasury Bond futures; 1986 - trade
volume topped 100 million contracts for first time, set world
record; February 18, 1997 - opened world's largest
trading floor, 60,000 sq. ft. for financial futures,
futures-options; April 14, 2005 - 99 percent of
votes cast in favor of CBOT’s restructuring proposal, includes
demutualization of Exchange into for-profit, stock-based holding
company, for-profit, membership exchange subsidiary; 2006
- highest yearly total volume recorded in history, more than 674
million contracts traded in 2005; January 2, 2007
- set new record for annual trading volume, with 805,884,413
contracts; July 9, 2007 - Chicago
Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc., Chicago Board of Trade
Holdings, Inc. completed merger, created world's largest, most
- Bureau of Labor Statistics began computation of daily
commodity price index (at request of U.S. Department of the
Treasury); used quotations for sensitive commodities;
January 1940 -
released to general public; 1952
- BLS issued new Daily Index of Spot Market Price based on new
sample of 22 commodities, calculated on 1947-49 base (old index
based on 28 commodities, calculated with August 1939 as base);
January 1962 -
22-commodity index recalculated on 1957-59 = 100 base to
correspond to base period adopted for other Federal Government
general purpose indexes; 1969
- computation of index on daily basis discontinued;
January 1971 -
index rebased again (in accordance with government-wide
practice) to 1967 = 100 base (prepared for Tuesday of each
week); May 1981 -
Commodity Research Bureau (CRB) began calculating index on daily
1934 - Milton Jiler published first issue of
Commodity Research Bureau Futures Market Service; seven
legal-size pages, with typewritten text, divided into multiple
sections; lead article was overall analysis of markets headed,
"The Outlook for Commodity Prices" - set the tone for
publication, front page story to this day;
1939 - published first Commodity Year
Book; March 2, 1956
- published inaugural issue of Commodity Chart Service;
1956 - introduced
CRB Futures Price Index to provide dynamic representation of
broad trends in commodity prices; more reflective of overall
price of exchange-traded commodities than Spot Commodity Index
(compiled by Bureau of Labor Statistics);
December 1, 1984 - acquired by
Knight-Ridder Financial Publishing;
1997 - acquired by Bridge Information
Systems Inc., renamed Bridge Commodity Research Bureau
(Bridge/CRB); September 7, 2001
- CRB division acquired by Logical Systems, Inc. (now
Barchart.com, Inc.), largest supplier of Internet based
Commodities and Futures data; renamed Commodity Research Bureau
May 2, 1968
- Gold reaches then record high ($39.35 per ounce) in London.
August 18, 1970
- Chicago Board of Trade posted the single biggest day of
trading in its 122-year history when a record 309 million
bushels of grain changed hands; bested the previous record by 13
August 2, 1972
- Gold hits record $70 an ounce in London.
February 10, 1974
- Silver futures hit record $4.81 an ounce in London.
April 3, 1974
- Gold hits record $197 an ounce in Paris.
December 31, 1974
- Private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the
first time in more than 40 years.
July 28, 1978
- Price of gold tops $200-an-oz level for first time.
January 14, 1980
- Gold (released from government control) trades at record
price, exceeds $800 an ounce; 1821 - units of
English currency were redeemable for a fixed quantity of gold, a
change that Britain hoped would stabilize its rapidly growing
economy; late 19th century - most industrialized nations were on
the full gold standard (facilitated international monetary
transactions and stabilized foreign exchange rates); 1914
- curbing of gold exports at the outbreak of World War I forced
recourse to inconvertible paper currency; 1920's-
economic growth overtook gold reserves, some nations
supplemented their reserves with stable currencies like the
pound and dollar, which like gold had obtained a measure of
permanent abstract value in people's minds; 1930 -
world economy and gold standard collapsed (in response, most
governments sharply limited the convertibility of paper
currency); 1933 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
prohibited the circulation of gold coins (though gold was still
used in defining the value of the dollar); 1930's-1960's
- currencies remained "pegged" to gold until global reserves
dwindled; 1971 - the United States suspended the
free exchange of U.S. gold for foreign-held dollars; 1974
- lifted its four-decade ban on the private purchase of
gold (gold bullion trading in European markets at highs
approaching $200 an ounce); 1975 - U.S. government
began to sell some of its holdings on the open market ;
1978 - officially abandoned the gold standard.
- Crude-oil closed at an inflation-adjusted record price of
$101.70 per barrel.
November 2, 1985
- Hunt brothers quietly sell off "substantially all" of their
$350 million silver holdings (59 million ounces of silver)
acquired in an attempt to corner the silver market (had
languished in the $6-an-ounce range), lost roughly $1 billion on
November 23, 1987
- In the aftermath of the "crash of '87" The Chicago Board of
Trade implemented a daily price ceiling on the Major Market
Index future and the Institutional Index future; the 20 stocks
on the Major and Institutional indices were restricted to moves
of no more than 40 and 25 points, respectively.
September 16, 1992
- George Soros, head of Quantum Fund, made 'global macro' $10
billion bear-raid bet against British pound; speculated
(correctly) that Bank of England would not support pound
participation in European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM)
indefinitely (pound pegged to set limits, linked to German mark
since, around 3DM to pound, October 1990) by jacking up interest
rates in economy in recession (UK adopted anti-inflation
policies of German Bundesbank); Bank of England let British
currency devalue (dropped below 2.20 DM to pound in spring
1995); Prime Minister John Major's government suffered blow of
'Black Wednesday'; Soros made $1 billion overnight, 'broke' Bank
of England; severe blow to Conservatives' reputation for sound
economic management; aftermath - inflation, interest
rates, unemployment fell immediately; Britain began longest
period of continuous growth in its history (pound recovered
to 3.20 DM to pound).
March 29, 1996
- New York Mercantile Exchange began trading on a new
commodities market for power supplies; first power contract - to
be delivered that summer at California-Oregon border; more than
1,000 contracts first day.
January 23, 2005
- Raw sugar for March delivery rose to 18.75 cents/pound on the
New York Board of Trade, highest price in 24 years (June 2, 1981
= 18.85 cents/lb.).
March 17, 2008
- CME Group (result Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s $11 billion
takeover of Chicago Board of Trade in 2007) finalized deal to
buy Nymex for $9.4 billion; controls about 98% of US-listed
futures, offers contracts on wide range of underlying
commodities, events (interest rates, foreign exchange, stock
indices, oil, metals, agricultural products).
March 20, 2008 -
March 26, 2008 - Rice prices jumped 30% to all-time high
(doubled since January); global rice stocks are at lowest since
1976 (foreign sales restrictions have removed about third of
rice traded in international market):
1) Egypt, leading
exporter, imposed a formal ban on selling rice abroad to keep
local prices down, 2)
Philippines (world’s largest buyer of the grain) announced plans
for a major purchase of the grain in the international market to
boost supplies, 3)
Indian government imposed further restrictions on the exports of
rice to combat rising local inflation);
4) Indonesia stopped its
farmers from selling rice abroad ( joined Vietnam, Egypt, China,
Cambodia, India in banning foreign sales);
5) Australian rice
production collapsed due to draught - down 98% since 2003
May 2008 -
Decline in research which created higher crop yields; demand for
rice exceeds production.
(source: Organization for
Economical Cooperation and Development; International
Rice Research Institute; U.S. Department of Agriculture;
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
Via The World Bank;
November 9, 2010 - touched a
high of $1,424 an ounce (well below all-time high of
$2,387/ounce, adjusted for inflation, on January 21,
(CBOT), James E. Boyle (1920).
Speculation and the Chicago Board of Trade. (New
York, NY: Macmillan, 277 p.). Chicago Board of Trade;
Speculation; Grain trade --Illinois --Chicago.
(CBOT), Jonathan Lurie (1979).
The Chicago Board of Trade, 1859-1905: The Dynamics of
Self-Regulation. (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois
Press, 234 p.). Chicago Board of Trade.
(CBOT), Bob Tamarkin (1985).
The New Gatsbys: Fortunes and Misfortunes of Commodity Traders.
(New York, NY: Morrow, 295 p.). Chicago Board of Trade;
Commodity exchanges--United States.
(CBOT), William G. Ferris (1988). The Grain
Traders: The Story of the Chicago Board of Trade. (East
Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 223 p.). Chicago
Board of Trade -- History; Grain trade -- United States --
History; Commodity futures -- United States -- History.
(CBOT), William D. Falloon (1998). Market
Maker: A Sesquincentennial Look at the Chicago Board of Trade.
(Chicago, IL: Board of Trade of the City of Chicago, 341 p.).
Chicago Board of Trade; Commodity exchanges--United States.
(CBOT), [interviewed by] Arlene Michlin
My Word Is My Bond: Voices from Inside the Chicago Board of
Trade. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 400 p.). Chicago Board of
Trade--History; Chicago Board of Trade--Officials and
employees--Interviews; Futures market--United States--History;
Investment advisors--United States--Interviews; Floor traders
(Finance)--United States--Interviews. Oral history of some of most
influential members who have shaped exchange's history inside
trading pits and beyond as told by oldest living Chicago Board
of Trade members; effort to document its history as markets have
converted from open outcry to electronic trading, just before
its merger with Chicago Mercantile Exchange (approved by
shareholders on July 19, 2007).
(Chicago Mercantile Exchange), Bob Tamarkin
(1993). The Merc: The Emergence of a Global Financial
Powerhouse. (New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 465 p.). Chicago
Mercantile Exchange--History; Commodity
(Chicago Mercantile Exchange), Emily Lambert
The Futures: The Rise of the Speculator and the Origins of the
World's Biggest Markets. (New York, NY: Basic Books,
240 p.). Senior Writer (Forbes magazine). Chicago Mercantile
Exchange; Commodity exchanges --Illinois --Chicago --History;
Chicago (Ill.) --History. History of Chicago Mercantile
Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade; emergence of futures business
meeting place for gamblers, farmers; subsequent
transformation into sophisticated electronic market where
contracts trade at lightning-fast speeds; disastrous
effects of Wall Street's adoption of futures contract without
rules, close-knit social bonds that had made trading it in
Chicago work so well; real "free" markets;
speculators can serve a vital economic, social function; how
markets should work (written, cultural limits).
(London Metal Exchange), Robert Gibson-Jarvie
The London Metal Exchange : A Commodity Market. (New
York, NY: Nichols Pub. Co., 203 p. [2nd ed.]). London Metal
Exchange; Metal trade--Great Britain.
(E. D. & F. Man), Alan C. Jenkins (1985).
The House of Man. (London, UK: Rainbird Publishing, 176
p.). E. D. & F. Man; commodities -- Great Britain --history;
commodity brokerage. Brokers in sugar, other commodities for
over 200 years.
(New York Mercantile Exchange), Leah McGrath
The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market.
(New York, NY: Morrow, 389 p.). Ted Scripps Fellow (University
of Colorado). New York Mercantile Exchange (N.Y.) -- History;
Stockbrokers -- United States; Petroleum industry and trade --
United States -- History; Petroleum products -- Prices.
Mercantile Exchange-- secretive, members-only club of men and
women who live lavish lifestyles, cavort with politicians,
strippers, celebrities, jacked up oil prices to nearly $150
barrel, profited from misery of working class (many come from
working-class families themselves); created world's first free
(Philipp Brothers), Helmut Waszkis (1987).
Philipp Brothers: The History of a Trading Giant, 1901-1985.
(Worcester Park, UK: Metal Bulletin, 294 p.). Philipp Brothers
(Firm), to 1985; Great Britain Foreign trade Companies.
(C. Tennant Sons and Company), The Company
A Saga of Commerce. (New York, NY: C. Tennant Sons and
Company, 105 p.). C. Tennant Sons and Company. Major
international metal trading organization.
Ralph M. Ainsworth with a new introduction by
Edward D. Dobson (1980).
Profitable Grain Trading. (Greenville, SC: Traders
Press, 246 p. [reprint of 1933 ed.]). Grain trade--United
Clifford Bennett (2006).
Warrior Trading: Inside the Mind of an Elite Trader.
(Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 173 p.). Founder of FxMax (Sydney,
Australia). Speculation; Stocks; Investments.
How to develop the focus,
attitude, and mental discipline of top traders.
Jacob Bernstein (1994).
Market Masters: How Successful Traders Think, Trade and Invest
and How You Can Too! (Chicago, IL: Dearborn Financial
Pub., 154 p.). Floor traders (Finance)--United States; Futures
market--United States; Stock exchanges--United States.
Peter L. Bernstein (2000).
The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession. (New
York, NY: Wiley, 432 p.). Gold--Folklore; Gold--History;
Peter L. Brandt (2011).
Diary of a Professional Commodity Trader: Lessons from 21 Weeks
of Real Trading. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 283 p.). Full
Time Professional Commodity and Foreign Exchange Trader for Over
30 Years. Commodity exchanges; Commodity futures; Speculation.
Play-by-play diary of 2009 trading (trades for 21 weeks); inside
look at difficult process, what it takes to excel; what it's
like to trade, uncertainty that surrounds every trade,
discipline required to make tough decisions in face of losing
money; on speculation, market analysis, trade identification,
selection, risk management, more: methods and rules to trade
successfully for so many years; charts, analysis of trade,
play-by-play account of how trade unfolds; running account of
profits and losses.
Philippe Chalmin, translated from the French
by Erica E. Long-Michalke. (1987).
Traders and Merchants: Panorama of International Commodity
Trading. (New York, NY: Harwood Academic Publishers, 310
p. [rev. 2nd ed.]). Raw materials; Commerce; Trading companies.
Ed. Philippe Chalmin and Jean-Louis Gombeaud
with an English edition translated and edited by Charles Prager
(1988). The Global Markets. (New York, NY: Prentice-Hall,
380 p.). Raw materials; International trade; Commodity
Edward Jerome Dies (1975).
The Plunger, A Tale of the Wheat Pit. (New York, NY:
Arno Press, 249 p. [orig. pub. 1929). Hutchinson, Benjamin P.,
1828-1899; Chicago Board of Trade; Grain
Stephen Fay (1982).
Beyond Greed: How the Two Richest Families in the World, the
Hunts of Texas and the House of Saud, Tries to Corner the Silver
Market - and How They Failed, Who Stopped Them and Why It Could
Happen Again. (New York, NY: Viking, 304 p.). Reporter
(London Times). Hunt family; Silver.
David Greising and Laurie Morse (1991).
Brokers, Bagmen and Moles: Fraud and Corruption in the Chicago
Futures Markets. (New York, NY: Wiley, 337 p.). Chicago
Board of Trade--Corrupt practices; Chicago Mercantile
Exchange--Corrupt practices; Futures market--Corrupt
Roy W. Jastram; updated by Jill Leyland (2009).
The Golden Constant: The English and American Experience,
1560-2007. (Northampton, MA Edward Elgar, 336 p.).
Professor of Business (University of California, Berkeley);
Associate Fellow, The Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet),
The Australian National University. Gold -- History.
gold over course of four centuries as measured against general
price levels determined by wholesale commodity price indices of
UK and US; price, purchasing power of gold remained largely
constant over centuries, was poor hedge against major inflation
(value appreciated in major deflations), gold price fixed by law until
1971; purchasing power of gold after de-monetized.
Jeffrey Owen Katz and Donna L. McCormick
The Encyclopedia of Trading Strategies. (New York, NY:
McGraw-Hill, 376 p.). Commodity futures.
Perry J. Kaufman (2005).
New Trading Systems and Methods. (New York, NY: Wiley,
1174 p. [4th ed.]). Commodity exchanges--Statistical methods.
Cari Lynn (2004).
Leg the Spread: A Woman's Adventures Inside the Trillion-Dollar
Boys' Club of Commodities Trading. (New York, NY:
Broadway Books, 320 p.). Writer, Clerk (Chicago Mercantile
Exchange). Chicago Mercantile Exchange; Commodity trading
advisors--United States; Women in the professions--United
States; Brokers--United States; Commodity exchanges--United
Victor Niederhoffer (1997).
The Education of a Speculator. (New York, NY: Wiley, 444
p.). Private Speculator Specializing in Futures and Options
Trading. Commodity futures--United States; Brokers--United
States--Biography; Speculation; Commodity exchanges--United
Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan (1994).
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars. (Nashville, TN:
Infrared Press, 190 p.). First Vice President in charge of the
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. International Energy Unit;
Foreign Exchange Trader (AmSouth). Commodity exchanges;
Speculation; Speculation--Psychological aspects.
Jim Rogers (2004).
Hot Commodities: How Anyone Can Invest Profitably in the World's
Best Market. (New York, NY: Random House, 250 p.).
Cofounder (Quantum Fund); Adjunct Professor of Finance (Columbia
University). Commodity exchanges; Futures market.
Paul Sarnoff (1980).
The Silver Bulls. (Westport, CT: Arlington House, 199
Jerome Tuccille (1984).
Kingdom: The Story of the Hunt family of Texas. (Ottawa,
IL: Jameson Books, 384 p.). Hunt family; Businessmen -- United
States -- Biography; Capitalists and financiers -- United States
Ray Vicker (1975).
The Realms of Gold. (New York, NY: Scribner, 244 p.).
Abram Wakeman (1914).
History and Reminiscences of Lower Wall Street and Vicinity.
(New York, NY: Spice Mill, 216 p.). Coffee trade--New York
(State)--New York; New York (N.Y.)--Streets--Wall Street.
Neal T. Weintraub (1996).
Tricks of the Floor Trader: Insider Trading Techniques for the
Off-the-Floor Trader (Chicago, IL: Irwin Professional
Publ., 229 p.). Futures Trader with over 10 Years of Experience
and is a Member of the Mid-America Commodity Exchange.
Insider trading in
Trading Chicago Style: Insights and Strategies of Today's Top
Traders (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 271 p.).
Commodity exchanges; Commodity futures; Futures.
Larry R. Williams (1979).
How I Made One Million Dollars Last Year Trading Commodities.
(Brightwaters, NY: Windsor Books, 130 p.). Commodity exchanges.
Robert G. Williams (2006).
The Money Changers: A Guided Tour Through Global Currency
Markets. (New York, NY: Zed Books, 256 p.). Voehringer
Professor of Economics at Guilford College, North Carolina.
Foreign exchange market; International finance.
What goes on in sector of
foreign currency trading that has exploded during last
twenty years - almost $2 trillion per day in trading volume.
Caitlin Zaloom (2006).
Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London.
(Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Assistant Professor
in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis= (New York
University). Stockbrokers.; Stock exchanges; Electronic trading
of securities; Finance--Social aspects; Business anthropology.
Implications of digital
age on traders, brokers, market as whole; how changes at
world’s leading financial exchanges have transformed economic
cultures, craft of speculation.
Chicago Board of Trade
The World's Leading Futures Exchange.
Commodities Trading Hand Signals
An oil trader for 20-years demonstrates the hand signals used on
the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange: Buy - open hands
pulled toward body, amount to buy - palm facing in, fingers
extended; sell - open hands pushed away from body, amount to
sell - palm facing out, fingers extended; months of year;
Gold Statistics and Information
Data on gold from statistical publications such as Mineral
Commodity Summaries, Minerals Yearbook, and Mineral Industry
Surveys. Features brochures on gold prospecting, gold prices in
the U.S., and other mineral and metal publications with data on
gold. From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Historical Currency Exchange Rates
Largest foreign exchange database on the Internet.
Historic Gold and Silver Prices
Gold (1833 - Present); Silver (1792 - present).
What Was the Price of Gold Then?
Find the price of gold for a specific year or time period.
Includes options for British and U.S. official prices, New York
market price, gold/silver price ratio, and London market price.
Dates vary for each section and range from 1257 through 2001.
Includes related essays on the history and importance of gold
prices. From Economic History Services, based at Miami
University in Oxford, Ohio.
World Gold Council: Frequently Asked
This FAQ provides a starting point for learning about the ways
to buy and sell gold, types of gold investments (such as bullion
bars and coins and gold options), gold prices and statistics,
and material about demand for gold and gold mining. From "an
association of the world's leading gold producers dedicated to
the promotion of gold."
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