Legitimising the Grain Gambler and the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936

  • Rasheed Saleuddin
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance book series (PSHF)


The efforts of the bureaucrats to gather, process and understand market information as well as make accurately reports contributed to a much better understanding of what new regulations were needed when a ‘policy window’ for new legislation opened after the failure of the first Agricultural Adjustment Act during the Great Depression. Once again, though, the legislation was not intended to aid farmers in any way. It was recognised that small—rather than professional—speculators were key to the functioning of an efficient futures markets, and that they needed protection from themselves (to not overtrade), market manipulation and fraud. A special interest group worked closely with the US government to author and pass new legislation, most of which continues to be applied in today’s markets, focusing on making markets safer for market users. That is, the result of private negotiation between a special interest and the regulator resulted in legislation that benefited all participants, and can therefore be said to be in the public’s interest.


Interest group Public interest Legitimacy Speculation Great depression 



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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Endowment Asset ManagementUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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