Friday midday a story popped up in my email box with a “Terry Duffy” key word alert from Google. The story from Fox News Chicago, which identified Duffy as CME Group CEO, said Duffy was threatening to move the CME Group out of Chicago and Illinois because CME was a public company and the state of Illinois had just raised corporate taxes. No one asked him if he wanted his taxes raised, he said.
Liking to stir the pot when I see a good chance, I tweeted the story and asked “what happened to Chicago as Risk Management Capitol?” It did not take very long for CME Group’s communications team to see this and quickly respond with a tweet of their own with a link from a Reuters story refuting the Fox Business story and its interpretation of Duffy’s comments.
First hats off to the CME communications team. They did exactly what they are supposed to do. Monitor mentions of the CME and quickly respond to any misinformation.
Secondly, there was a time when the leaders at the various Chicago exchanges were also active commercial, community and political leaders. Perhaps Mr. Duffy, who has long had political aspirations, should apply them to the state of Illinois and run for Governor the next time the election cycle runs around. Don’t just solve the problem of the CME Group, but help bring financial and political leadership for all businesses in Illinois. He should apply his business and political skills to solving the financial problems of the State of Illinois as Governor.
On Friday I worked on a page on MarketsWiki for the very first president of the Chicago Board of Trade, a gentlemen by the name of Thomas Dyer. According to various sources I could find, Mr. Dyer was President of the Chicago Chamber of Commerce in 1848 when he participated in the forming of the Chicago Board of Trade. Another man, George Smith, was elected to serve as the first CBOT president, but he declined. Dyer was then selected to be the first president, which I believe was an unpaid position.
Dyer later served as Mayor of the City of Chicago from 1856 to 1857. He also served in the legislature and was twice a delegate to the Democratic Convention. Like Duffy, Dyer had a public servant father. Dyer’s father had served in the US Revolutionary War.
Mr. Duffy is certainly a community leader and active in political circles representing and promoting the CME. With all the regulatory challenges the CME Group and the rest of the financial services industry faces, the CME and industry need his leadership. However, there was a time when business people stepped up to serve the public in elected office. Given how bad the finances of the State of Illinois are and the leadership void in the Illinois Republican Party, maybe the time has come for Mr. Duffy to serve his state.
With CME Group and financial industry friend Rahm Emanuel looking like a sure thing for Mayor of Chicago, perhaps the time is right for Mr. Duffy to run.