Escape to the FuturesBook - 1996
"A well-written, fascinating memoir of a remarkable man of manyparts, who arrived in the United States at age 9, fleeing theHolocaust. Almost single-handedly, he transformed a minor commodityexchange into the leading futures market in the world. Hisinfluence was and remains worldwide." --Milton Friedman SeniorResearch Fellow Hoover Institution, Stanford University
"There are only a few people who have revolutionized bigportions of the business world. Warren Buffett did it in investing,Bill Gates in software. Leo Melamed, author of this book, is inthat same league. He truly revolutionized futures trading in theUnited States, and in the world. This book tells how."--Ambassador Clayton Yeutter Past President of the ChicagoMercantile Exchange Former U.S. Trade Representative
"A grizzled old Merc trader once assured me that nobody everlost by being long on Leo. Why that''s so, this endlesslyfascinating personal history makes clear. It shows how an immigrantboy, after surviving unimaginable horrors, drew on the ''elan,combativeness, and sophisticated conviction'' learned from hisequally remarkable father to build the CME and to lay thefoundations of the modern, Chicago-based, financial servicesindustry." -- Merton H. Miller 1990 Nobel Laureate EmeritusProfessor University of Chicago Graduate School of Business
"Leo tells it all. To say there would not have been a financialfutures industry without Leo is probably only a slightexaggeration!!!" -- John Damgard President Futures IndustryAssociation
"Escape to the Futures tells the remarkable story of a youngboy''s escape from the Nazis and the impact of his life on thefinancial markets of the world. It also serves as yet anotherpoignant reminder of the immeasurable losses --in the arts,sciences, professions, and everyday life--humanity sufferedbecause of the Holocaust." -- Benjamin Meed President AmericanGathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors
He is one of the most powerful figures in the world offinance--a visionary who pioneered the modern futures industryand launched the International Monetary Market (IMM). Yet, LeoMelamed was not born to wealth and influence. His is anextraordinary rags-to-riches tale of intelligence, drive, savvy,timing, and the overpowering force of a uniquely charismaticpersonality. Now the inside story of the remarkable life and careerof Leo Melamed is revealed in this long-awaited autobiography.
A Holocaust survivor, Leo Melamed had barely begun the firstgrade in 1939 when he and his parents fled their native Poland onestep ahead of the oncoming Nazi juggernaut. Crossing Siberia enroute to a brief stay in Japan--just months before PearlHarbor--the family arrived in the United States to begin lifeanew. They settled in Chicago, where young Leo became a product ofthe inner city and embraced his new country and its culture.
Seeking part-time employment while attending law school, LeoMelamed answered a classified ad that would change his life. Hiredby what he presumed was a law firm named Merrill, Lynch, Pierce,Fenner & Bean, he found himself on the floor of the ChicagoMercantile Exchange.
"I was Alice stepping through the Looking Glass into a world ofnot just one Mad Hatter, but hundreds. The shouting among thetraders, the movement of their bodies and hands, captivated me likenothing before . . . there was a life force on that floor that wasmagical and exciting, and though I didn''t understand what was goingon, I wanted to be a part of it."
Leo Melamed became much more than just a part of it. From modestbeginnings as a pork belly trader, he led the Chicago Merc for thenext quarter of a century, introducing finance to an industry thatwas the exclusive domain of agriculture. As his reputation as afinancial genius grew, so did the tales of his larger-than-lifepersonality. In Leo Melamed: Escape to the Futures, you''ll meet theman behind the legend.
Written with the assistance of award-winning journalist BobTamarkin, this enthralling memoir deftly weaves intimate personaldetails with behind-the-scenes accounts of some of the mostmomentous financial events of our century--including Leo''srole as advisor to the White House after the Hillary Rodham Clintoncattle futures trading episode. You''ll read fascinating accounts ofhis dealings with political powerhouses like Bob Dole, Tip O''Neill,Dan Rostenkowski, and others. Offering penetrating insights intothe workings of a multibillion dollar industry, this is a storythat has as much to say about human nature as it does about thenature of today''s markets.
Hailed as both hero and tyrant, Leo Melamed is undeniably one ofthe most colorful and intriguing personalities of our time. Thisintimate, revealing personal account is not to be missed.