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For All Nails #141: More Really Boring Stuff

by Noel Maurer


From The Statist
5 April 1974

Most North Americans follow the stockmarkets with a passion. But until lately, that passion did not extend to the futures markets. This is changing, as Main Street is finally discovering Michigan City.

The city's two big futures exchanges, the Michigan City Council of Business and the Physical Commodities and Trade Exchange, will be delighted. Since last June, the price of full membership at the MCCOB has fallen by 20 percent. At the PHAT, seat prices have fallen by half since 1968.

The exchanges are pinning their hopes on two new, competing products: the PHAT Broad 500-stock index future, and the MCCOB's Cornell-Yuengling Industrial Average futures contract. Both products are sized for the retail market. Since their launch last October, trading in Coyu futures has grown more rapidly than any contract in the MCCOB's history.

One explanation for their popularity is that investors get a big bang for their quid. Customers of the New York Stock Exchange must currently stump up cash worth at least 65 percent of the value of their purchases. The PHAT demands a minimum cash payment, or "margin", of N.A. £2,459 for one contract -- about 5 percent of the contract's underlying value at present ...


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