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Introduction
Futures markets have been a natural part of the marketplace for
nearly 500 years, having begun in Japan during the early part of the 16th
century. Most remarkably the Japanese had devised a set of rules to govern
the trading of rice that are still largely used today. Thus, it seems rather
odd that in 1960 these markets had received almost no attention in the
academic literature, even though, by then, a rather large group of business
people in about a dozen different locations in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City were involved. Only three Ph.D. dissertations
had been completed on the futures markets by the early 1960s. One was
completed in about 1895, and the other two in the late 1940s and early
1950s. The fourth came in 1966 and a torrent of them followed. Each of
them, but particularly the early work of economists like Holbrook Working, Roger Gray, and Tom Hieronymous, contributed greatly to the practical and theoretical understanding of the market. By the late 1970s, with
the success of the International Monetary Market and the Chicago Board
of Trade in the trading of financial instruments, academics, particularly
from the business schools, were heavily involved in researching all aspects
of the markets. They needed a formal venue, with rigorous review, to
present and discuss their research. Thus was born The Journal of Futures
Markets.
The JFM was designed to encourage and to report on the performance of organized futures and options markets and the contributions of
these markets to society and the economy. The Journal began with a mixture of academic and leading professional business people writing on
academically solid topics that were presented in an easily understood
style. Gradually, the nature of its articles became more heavily mathematical and the focus more on the techniques of research.
This selection of articles is meant to provide a sort of a snapshot of
some of the work, both early and late, published by the Journal on various
The Journal of Futures Markets, Vol. 20, No. 1, 3–4 (2000)
Q 2000 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
CCC 0270-7314/00/010003-02
4
Introduction
topics during the period 1980 to 1998. It would be impossible to rank
the articles submitted, so no such attempt is made. Rather, presented
here is a selection of the articles that represent part of the Journal’s contribution to the industry. Each of the articles is important in its own right.
At the time of publication, each was at the forefront of the next stage of
development.
The JFM has established a high quality, professional vehicle for those
seriously interested in understanding futures and options. And, it has set
the stage for the next step—the development of a more practical, more
applied set of articles that shapes and leads one’s intellect to understanding the never-ending process of trading futures and options.
Mark J. Powers
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