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The Futures: The Rise of the Speculator and the Origins of the World's Biggest Markets
Synopses & Reviews
In The Futures, Forbes magazine senior writer Emily Lambert tells the rich and dramatic history of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade, the original futures market. Commodities exchanges have become some of the largest financial markets in our global economic system, yet the exchanges themselves and the speculators who run them remain largely misunderstood, as does their chief instrument: the futures contract. Lambert describes the emergence of the futures business as a kind of meeting place for gamblers and farmers that subsequently transformed into a sophisticated electronic market, one where contracts are traded at lightning-fast speeds. When Wall Street adopted the futures contract without the rules and close-knit social bonds that had made trading it in Chicago work so well, however, the effects were disastrous. But, as Lambert argues, the traditional futures market—with its written and cultural limits—can serve as a useful example of how markets ought to work, thereby becoming a tonic for our current financial ills.
Book News Annotation:
Written for a general audience, this work by Lambert (a senior writer for Forbes) reconstructs the stories of the Chicago commodities exchanges from their early beginnings through to the early 2000s, focusing on the development of the futures markets and the individuals that shaped the markets. On balance, she argues in the end, the futures markets worked well and the speculators served a valuable social purpose. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
An acclaimed business journalist takes us behind the scenes of the biggest markets in the world and into the oversize personalities of the men who make them happen
In The Futures, Emily Lambert addresses the subject with as much affection as is ever likely to be stirred by the pork-belly business. . . . Captivating.” —Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Emily Lambert is senior writer for Forbes magazine, where she covers finance and trading. She has also written for the New York Post. She lives in Chicago.
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