• Banking and Finance in Historical Perspective
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39. Jahrgang | Jahr 2013 | Heft 1


Aufsatz: Seite 40–58

Alexander Engel
Zank um Zwiebeln – Kontroversen um den agrarischen Börsenterminhandel in den USA (1954-72)
Quarrels over Onions. Controversies surrounding the Futures Trading in Agricultural Products in the U.S. (1954-72) — Current controversies over derivative markets for agricultural goods do not make reference to the heated debates concerning futures trading in agricultural goods that had taken place in the 1890s and 1900s, but the lines of reasoning resemble each other to a notable extent. Have the current arguments been reinvented, or did they just lay dormant for most of the 20th century? This paper provides a hint by studying the partially successful attempts to prohibit futures trading in onions and potatoes in the U.S. between 1954 and 1972. The cases seem obscure, but are instructive for the bigger picture: The pertinent congressional hearings show that the topoi and arguments which showed both around 1900 and today seem indeed to be deeply rooted among members of different interest groups.