Chicago exchanges: The education of David Brennan
June 24 in Chicago, a very important day. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is set to make an important announcement: the fibreglass cow recently posted outside the exchange as part of the city's five-month "Cows on parade" art exhibit is to be given a name, chosen after a competition among the CME's staff and members. The winner - "Moocantile".
It is light relief for the exchange which, along with the Chicago Board of Trade, has had a hard few months during which the rationale of everything from open outcry to clearing systems has been questioned.
It began on a potentially bright note with the resignation of Brooksley Born from the chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the federal body that regulates the exchanges. She and the exchanges had not seen eye to eye, and now there seemed to be a chance that finally the exchanges could get regulations simplified.
As the month ends, five minutes' walk up the road from where Moocantile is being christened, the CBOT, the CME's arch-rival, is facing a rather more crucial choice.