Few industries have seen such transformations over the past 30 years as the futures and options business. From open outcry to electronic trading methods and regional interest to global relevance, the industry has come a long way since Futures World launched in 1982. William Mitting examines some of the key trends that have defined the past three decades.
Back in 1982, Ronald Regan was president of the United
States, the Soviet Union was still in force and Aston Villa
won the European Cup. A lot can change over 30 years as the
transformation of the futures and options industry bears
witness. To fully outline the development of the industry
would require far more space than this article allows. As
such, the article below is an outline of seven key trends
that have had the most impact on the industry with select
The birth of a modern industry
The birth of the modern futures and options
industry in fact predates this review by one year. In 1981,
the Chicago Mercantile Exchange launched its groundbreaking
Eurodollar contract, which brought the concept of cash
settlement to the futures industry and in doing so sounded
the opening bell of modernity for futures and options.
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