Global communication grows through aviation and long-distance telephones. But a connected world increases geopolitical and economic risks — requiring exchanges to meet new challenges.
On the heels of the roaring 20s, CBOT completes its architectural landmark at 141 West Jackson Boulevard in the heart of Chicago’s business district as the stock market crash ushers in the Great Depression. Economic turmoil highlights the value of guaranteed futures prices as people scramble to manage risk. The Commodity Exchange Authority is formed to regulate markets and the Office of Price Administration imposes price limits and rationing, which only exacerbate the problem. But experts agree that free market futures exchanges helped to prevent a more serious crisis.
One week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, NYMEX launches its successful potato futures and CME follows with onion contracts. Government-imposed price controls on agriculture commodities hamper trading until after World War II, when exchanges are again spurred to diversify beyond agricultural products.