Robert C. Liebenow
The late Robert C. Liebenow (1923-2006) was the first non-member president of the Chicago Board of Trade. At the time he was hired as CBOT President he was a 33-year-old attorney working for the CBOT.
He also served as president of the Corn Refiners Association from 1965 to 1990.
He was labeled "aggressive" as president of the CBOT in a story by the New York Times.
He was president of the CBOT during the Kennedy assassination and the great salad oil scandal. The CBOT would remain open during the salad oil scandal and was the only hedging market available to the world trade in vegetable oils. For two days, on November 20 and 21, the CBOT would trade four to five times normal volume and would set an all time daily volume record.
After the problems in edible oil, commodity exchanges created the Association of Commodity Exchange Firms, Inc. to study the impact of the scandal and recommend improvements to the system.
Recommendations from the new organization included exploring insurance to cover liability against infidelity, fraud and forgery of any exchange license warehouse receipts. Also, exchange should finance a study to determine the need for uniform minimum standards and practices for commodity warehouse receipts. Additionally, common clearing of all exchanges in one central clearinghouse should be established. And lastly, all traders should post margin as performance bonds on commodity exchanges.
Liebenow worked in banking before being named secretary of the CBOT in 1952. In 1956 he was selected to be the first paid, non-member of the exchange. The highest ranking member of the CBOT would then be the chairman of the board.
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