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Wheels of Fortune. The History of Speculation from Scandal to Respectability

  • ID: 2214295
  • Book
  • January 2004
  • Region: Global
  • 368 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Wheels of Fortune is an engaging and original story that traces the rich, colorful, and often scandalous history of speculation in the U.S. financial markets. Set against a backdrop that begins prior to the Civil War and continues through the twentieth century, renowned business historian and bestselling author Charles Geisst takes you on an incredible journey that brings the personalities and strategies behind the futures markets, and speculation in general, to life.

Discover how legendary traders such as Benjamin Hutchinson cornered the wheat market in the nineteenth century, and learn how other bold traders as well as lax regulations paved the way for twentieth–century debacles that continue to tarnish the reputation of the CBOT, the CME, and other related institutions and markets.

The history of the futures market, derivatives, and speculation is full of misunderstandings and false assumptions. Wheels of Fortune seeks to clarify these misconceptions by chronicling the events and individuals that brought scandal and skepticism into the markets, and exploring the laws and governing bodies that were established to rein them in–but lacked the power to do so.

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Acknowledgments vi

Introduction vii

Chapter 1 A Tale of the Pits 1

Chapter 2 Futures and ′Wild Jackasses′ 49

Chapter 3 The Great Bear Hunt 99

Chapter 4 Expanding the Menu 143

Chapter 5 Metals and Money 187

Chapter 6 Chicago Follies 243

Chapter 7 Rogues′ Gallery 297

Postscript 353

Bibliography 355

Index 360

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CHARLES R. GEISST is the author of fourteen books, including the bestsellers Wall Street: A History and 100 Years of Wall Street, as well as The Last Partnerships and Monopolies in America. Previously, he worked as a capital markets analyst and investment banker at several investment banks in London and has taught both political science and finance. He has contributed to many journals and newspapers, including the International Herald Tribune, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared as a guest on many radio and television financial programs. Deals of the Century, also published by Wiley, is Geisst’s most recent book on financial history.
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