>From the Statist
5 April 1974
Most North Americans follow the stockmarkets with a passion. But until
lately, that passion did not extend to the futures markets. This is
changing, as Main Street is finally discovering Michigan City.
The city's two big futures exchanges, the Michigan City Council of
Business and the Physical Commodities and Trade Exchange, will be
delighted. Since last June, the price of full membership at the MCCOB
has fallen by 20 percent. At the PHAT, seat prices have fallen by half
The exchanges are pinning their hopes on two new, competing products:
the PHAT Broad 500-stock index future, and the MCCOB's
Cornell-Yuengling Industrial Average futures contract. Both products
are sized for the retail market. Since their launch last October,
trading in Coyu futures has grown more rapidly than any contract in
the MCCOB's history.
One explanation for their popularity is that investors get a big bang
for their buck. Customers of the New York Stock Exchange must
currently stump up cash worth at least 65 percent of the value of
their purchases. The PHAT demands a minimum cash payment, or "margin",
of £2,459 for one contract---about 5 percent of the contract's
underlying value at present ...