Dollars and Jens
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Futures markets mine the basics: Air and housing
I'm not sure what I have to add to this aging tribune piece on new financial derivatives.
Two recent events in Chicago expand the way you think about investing:

The Chicago Climate Exchange, which a year ago began trading industrial pollution allowances issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on Friday launched futures trading in the EPA's sulfur dioxide emission allowances.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a 106-year-old institution that began life as a butter and egg exchange, said it may trade futures contracts on house prices.


Two of the best thinkers about identifying and trading values are Richard Sandor, a pioneer of interest rate futures and CEO of the Chicago Climate Exchange, and Yale University professor Robert Shiller, perhaps best known for his best-selling book "Irrational Exuberance."

Shiller, whose firm Macro Securities Research is behind the housing futures proposal, notes that consistently less than 10 percent of national income is generated by corporate profits--the sole basis of stock prices.

Sandor says we may be near the limit of creating value through stocks and bonds.

Many Americans wisely have discovered another source of value, Shiller noted.
"I think everybody should be invested in real estate, because it's a diversifying move."
And so on.

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