Merc success bursts Google babble bubble
May 1, 2006
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
Blame it on Midwestern
values. Californians babble non-stop about Google going public
at $85 a share on Aug. 19, 2004. Google closed Friday at $417.94.
Chicagoans barely speak about the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
IPO at $35 a share on Dec. 6, 2002. CME closed Friday at $458.
successes are fueled by cutting-edge technology and best-of-breed
save their cheering for losers like the Cubs or occasional winners
like the White Sox, Bears or the Jordan-era Bulls. Why tout a
hometown moneymaker like the trading industry? Using technology
to trade futures is too complicated for conversation at the Cubby
Bear or the Billy Goat. A "Saturday Night Live" comedy
sketch about Chicago's tech-trading brainiacs is unimaginable.
are captivated by the Ryan corruption case, the Ryan reconstruction
effort and foie gras. Celebrate our innovative tech-based trading
prowess? Not a chance. We're more likely to see Riverview re-emerge
at Belmont and Western.
to No. 3 as a convention city, with New York City hot on our heels.
Maybe it's time to pay attention to what's happening in trading
entrepreneurship leader Linda Darragh aims to get Chicago talking
about the CME's success. Tomorrow, Darragh hosts a program at
the CME titled "Exploring Entrepreneurship: The Chicago Futures
Trading Industry, Opportunities and Challenges for the Future."
going to celebrate innovation," Darragh says. "We want
to make sure Chicago remains the global center for this industry."
quick to note the trading industry is changing, and that spells
opportunity. "This industry is going virtual. It doesn't
have to be located in the South Loop," Darragh says. "Huge
amounts of leading-edge technology are required to handle vast
amounts of data."
program director at the University of Chicago Graduate School
of Business Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship. She's previously
held roles at Northwestern University and the Women's Business
Development Center. She knows what's what and who's who around
town. Darragh sees untapped entrepreneurial gold in Chicago's
is an industry below the radar," Darragh says. "People
don't talk about the huge economic value it adds."
Center is studying the industry and exploring the potential for
spinning out entrepreneurial ventures. Darragh wants to highlight
innovation at the CME, CBOT and the CBOE. She also wants us to
know about emerging firms such as Trading Technologies, OptionsXpress,
Thinkorswim and RedSky Financial, which support the trading industry.
right to call for more recognition for our trading industry. Next
time you use that Google tool bar, put this in your mind. Chicago
leads the way in trading innovation.
America losing it?
Capital Association President Mark Heesen says Sarbanes Oxley
might push U.S. startups to IPO on off-shore exchanges. In the
first quarter, only 10 U.S. venture-backed companies went public
on U.S. exchanges.
"Policymakers are waking up to the fact that U.S. companies
do not want to go public in the U.S. as a result of SOX."
U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) for "being at the forefront
to understand the impact of SOX from the small-company level."
it take to turn IT pros into business leaders? Paul Glen,
Computerworld columnist and author of Leading Geeks, headlines
Friday morning's program on the topic at the Lake Forest Graduate
School of Management. Glen contends managing geeks requires a
different spin. Joining the discussion are local tech luminaries:
Allstate CIO Cathy Brune, Motorola director David
Lum and former Baxter e-business VP Paul Brenner.
President Sandee Kastrul, Society for Information
Management President Ellen Barry and Black Data
Processing Associates President Yvette Graham
host the fourth annual Capitalize on Illinois fund-raiser tonight
at the W Hotel. Speakers include: IBM VP Mike Borman,
Chicago Children's Museum CEO Peter England,
Hewitt CEO Dale Gifford and United Stationers
CEO Dick Goch-nauer. Proceeds will support i.c.stars.
community tech training efforts.
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.