On April 26, 1973, financial professionals and dignitaries gathered to inaugurate the first day of trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). Options trading was nothing new, but it had always been an arcane practice, its social value suspect.
The "time contracts," enforcement of which was outlawed by the state of New York in 1792, were essentially options. Congress had even considered banning options trading in 1934 but allowed it under SEC supervision. Thirty-nine years later, SEC Chairman G. Bradford Cook, exercising that supervision, launched what he called "a new era in the securities market."70
(70.) November 14, 1973 "Options: The New Game in Town,?" Address by SEC Commissioner A. A. Sommer, Jr. to the Securities Regulation and Enforcement Cooperative Conference; New York Times, April 27, 1973.
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