The Futures by Emily Lambert
The Rise of the Speculator and the Origins of the World's Biggest Markets

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Synopsis

In The Futures, Emily Lambert, senior writer at Forbes magazine, tells us the rich and dramatic history of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade, which together comprised the original, most bustling futures market in the world. She details the emergence of the futures business as a kind of meeting place for gamblers and farmers and its subsequent transformation into a sophisticated electronic market where contracts are traded at lightning-fast speeds. Lambert also details the disastrous effects of Wall Street's adoption of the futures contract without the rules and close-knit social bonds that had made trading it in Chicago work so well. Ultimately Lambert argues that the futures markets are the real "free" markets and that speculators, far from being mere parasites, can serve a vital economic and social function given the right architecture. The traditional futures market, she explains, because of its written and cultural limits, can serve as a useful example for how markets ought to work and become a tonic for our current financial ills.

 

 

About Emily Lambert

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Emily Lambert is senior writer for Forbes magazine, where she covers finance and trading. She has also written for the New York Post and currently lives in Chicago.
 
Published December 28, 2010 by Basic Books. 242 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Although she provides lucid explanations of how the market works and how the various money-making strategies collide, the charm of her fast-paced, informal history comes from the book’s animating insight: “Finance is like biology: Everything is intertwined.” Drawing from interviews, newspaper cli...

Jan 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Futures: The Rise of the ...

The Wall Street Journal

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Futures markets determine foreign exchange rates, and in a world of gyrating currency values there are serious questions about whether they are the best way to determine the relative value of dollars, euros and yen.

Dec 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Futures: The Rise of the ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Ultimately Lambert argues that the futures markets are the real "free" markets and that speculators, far from being mere parasites, can serve a vital economic and social function given the right architecture.

Jan 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Futures: The Rise of the ...

Seeking Alpha

Emily Lambert's The Futures is delivered as a flat midwestern yarn – as if told by a Chi-town native, holding forth on a barstool over beers.

Jan 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Futures: The Rise of the ...

Business Insider

The onion trade was eventually banned by congressional order (at the request of angry onion farmers), while the egg trade revolved around the “butter and egg men” of Fulton Street.

Jan 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Futures: The Rise of the ...

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