The CME Group
The CME Group consists of the three aforementioned divisions: the CBOT, CME, and NYMEX, which previously stood as independent exchanges. Accordingly, the CME is officially the world’s largest derivatives exchange. As previously mentioned, on July 12, 2007, the merger of the CBOT and the CME created the CME Group, but NYMEX was acquired in 2008 to create a powerful and innovative entity.
The CME Group currently serves the speculative and risk management needs of customers worldwide. Among the three divisions, the CME Group offers derivative products across nearly all imaginable asset classes.
Upon merging, the CBOT and the CME consolidated all floor-trading operations into a single location: the historic CBOT building on 141 West Jackson Boulevard in downtown Chicago. The actual move took place over three weekends, and no details were spared. The new combined trading floor spans 60,000 square feet.
IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) is the newest player in U.S. futures trading. In stark contrast to the original models of the CBOT, the CME, and NYMEX, ICE primarily facilitates over-the-counter energy and commodity futures contracts. This simply means that there is no centralized location; nearly all trading takes place in cyberspace. However, ICE continues to operate floor-trading operations in some of its option markets. In addition, the CME Group has followed the lead of ICE and moved a majority of its futures contract execution to electronic means, as opposed to a trading pit with a physical location. We discuss the two types of execution in greater detail in Chapter 3, “The Organized Chaos of Open Outcry and the Advent of Electronic Trading.”
ICE was established May 2000, with the mission of transforming OTC trading. By 2001, it had acquired a European energy futures exchange, but it didn’t dig its claws deep into the heart of the U.S. futures industry until its acquisition of the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) in 2007, along with the responsibility to facilitate trading in the softs complex. The term soft generally describes a commodity that is grown rather than mined; examples of contracts categorized as soft and traded on ICE in the United States include sugar, cocoa, coffee, and cotton. More recent additions are financial products including the Russell 2000 Index and the U.S. Dollar Index.