Trivia

Hard

The Only Crop Banned From The Futures Trading Market In The United States Is?

Sugar Cane
Corn
Onions
Beets

Answer: Onions

Onions probably strike you as a rather boring vegetable, not particularly exotic, nor particularly enticing on their own (rare is the person that wants a big crisp bite of a fresh uncooked onion). The onion seems, frankly, like the vegetable crop least likely, this side of the potato, to start a scandal that leads to regulatory action.

Yet in the 1950s, that’s exactly what happened thanks to two onion traders, Sam Siegel and Vincent Kosuga. In 1955, the pair cornered the onion futures market in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange by buying huge amounts of onions. How huge? By the end of 1955, they had purchased enough onions and onion futures so that they controlled 98 percent of the onion market and millions of pounds of onions were shipped to their warehouses in Chicago. At peak holdings, they had 30,000,000 pounds of onions sitting in storage. They then turned around and forced onion growers to purchase their inventory by threatening to flood the market with onions if they did not.

The resulting political and market turbulence led to wild fluctuations in the price of onions, bankrupted many onion farmers, and caused such a public outcry that it became a national issue drawing the attention of government agencies (the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture and the House Committee on Agriculture) and then Congressman (and future President) Gerald Ford. A bill was drawn up banning the trading of onion futures and was signed into law by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958. Despite protest from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that the bill unfairly targeted a large portion of their market (onion stock and futures made up 20 percent of their trading at the time), a federal judge upheld the bill. They didn’t push the issue forward to the Supreme Court and the bill remains in effect to this day.

Trivia

Very Hard

The Aliens On The Simpsons Were Named After?

Trivia

Hard

There Is No Nobel Prize Offered For?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Creatures Is Considered The Most Efficient Predator In The World?

Trivia

Hard

What Early Computer Virus Type Propagated Via Floppy Disks?

Trivia

Easy

Despite Their Massive Size, Which Of These Animals Only Lives A Few Years?

Trivia

Easy

Which Action Movie Star Won An Emmy For His Guest Appearance On The TV Show Friends?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest Working Musical Instrument In The World Is Located In?

Trivia

Easy

The Medical Condition “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” Derives Its Name From?

Trivia

Hard

“Dragon King” Is An Actual Title, And The King Rules Over?