Ray Carmichael – The History of Financial Futures Part I

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

Carmichael Led Communications at the Chicago Board of Trade During a Decade of Incredible Growth in Financial Futures

Ray Carmichael joined the Chicago Board of Trade in 1980, hired by then-CBOT president Thomas Donovan to lead communications for the exchange. Carmichael had come from the nonprofit world, so he understood how committees work in organizations. 

When he joined the CBOT, 80% of the volume of the exchange was agricultural and 20% was financial, mostly bonds and GNMAs. When he left, those figures had flip flopped to 80% financial and 20% agricultural.

He was there for the worst day of his professional life, the day the stock market crashed in 1987, and he was part of a press conference in which futures markets were blamed for causing the crash.

He was there for the exposure of an FBI sting operation on the trading floor of the CBOT and CME. That was what he said “did him in,” or caused him to leave the CBOT, after 10 years on the job.

Carmichael sat for an interview with John Lothian News as part of the History of Financial Futures video series, part of our MarketsWiki Education program. 

The interview is broken into two parts. The first part is about Carmichael’s career, the second is more about the CBOT’s efforts to deploy electronic trading into its operations. He was there for the announcement of the Aurora trading platform at the FIA Boca Raton, FL International Conference. Later, the CBOT would deploy Project A, a local network trading platform. 

Here is part one of John Lothian News’ interview with former CBOT Communications Head Ray Carmichael.

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