Commentary: The Futures Exchanges Have Learned Nothing

In March, amid the swaying royal palm trees at Florida's ritzy Boca Raton Resort & Club, leaders of some 50 global futures exchanges sat together at a giant U-shaped table, determined to show that they had learned a lesson from the 1995 disaster at Barings PLC. After all, if authorities in Japan and Singapore had compared notes on the activities of Barings trader Nick Leeson, he never would have racked up the $1.4 billion in losses that eventually brought down the venerable British bank. To prevent another such debacle, the futures executives agreed to sign a sweeping information-sharing accord, each pledging to provide key data when the next trading crisis arose.

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