How the “Man of the Futures” Revolutionized the Finance Industry
| Nov 30, 2021 | Michael Benigno
At the beginning of World War II, seven-year-old Leo Melamed and his family fled their small town in occupied Poland and landed in America with the help of a kind Japanese Consulate member who granted his family a visa to travel through Japan.
In his new memoir, Man of the Futures: The Story of Leo Melamed and the Birth of Modern Finance, Melamed tells his story, from surviving the Holocaust to becoming the founder of the International Money Market (IMM), the first financial futures exchange, and initiator of Globex, the world’s first global electronic trading system.
In a Gabelli School of Business Centennial Speaker Series event sponsored by the CFA Society New York, the Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis, and the Museum of American Finance, Melamed, joined by CNBC correspondent Bob Pisani, discussed how the futures’ contract was originally met with opposition from banks. He disproved the belief that the agreement—to buy or sell a commodity for a predetermined price in the future—would take business away from the stock market as the money investors made from futures went directly back into it.
“I crisscrossed the world more than a dozen times in an attempt to explain to the financial world and financial ministers that the futures markets will help provide the hedging capability that will allow capital markets to grow,” he said. “And today every major city has a futures market.”