Commodities exchanges have become some of the largest financial markets in our global economic system, but their adoption by Wall Street has forever altered their character, and they remain largely misunderstood. In The Futures, Emily Lambert tells the rich and dramatic history of commodities exchanges, detailing the emergence of the futures business in Chicago, where the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade constituted the original futures market The city's bustling trading pits served as a meeting place for farmers and gamblers, and the exchanges were governed by written and cultural limits├╣constraints that have been lost in today's high-speed electronic system. At once a colorful historical saga and a useful reminder of how markets ought to work, The Futures presents traditional futures exchanges as a potential tonic for our current financial ills. Book jacket.