Back to the Futures

My book, Haunted By Markets touches on the years 1990 to 2015 for the stock, bond, currency and commodity futures markets. But my first book, Back To The Futures touches on the 1980s, futures markets.

The 1980s were dynamic, exceptionally volatile and set the stage for what unfolded in the 1990s and beyond. The 80s, by any reasonable measure, were a watershed decade.

Both of my books are now available at 

When investing or trading do not let history catch you by surprise. I do not know of any source where investors, speculators or agriculture producers can learn what unfolded weekly during the 1980s, 90’s and the 2000 -  2015 other than from Back To The Futures or, Haunted By Markets.  

Below is the Foreword for Back To The Futures. I hope you find it of interest.

“Over a long weekend, when I had some time on my hands, I decided to review some of the newspaper columns and market letters that I’ve been writing over the past ten years. Two things surprised me. First was the fact that I’ve actually been writing a column for ten years. Second, I was surprised that I didn’t lose my mind during the ‘Don’t worry, be happy 1980s.’

My writings are supposed to deal with the futures markets. Or as I prefer to call them, the Big Four: stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities. But the editors of the newspapers I write for have been kind to me over the years. They have allowed me to write about whatever strikes my fancy.

Consequently, my writings have become discussions of fishing trips, movies, books, personal experiences, tall tales, outright lies, half truths, the whole truth and sometimes, nothing but the truth. Mostly however, I analyze the Big Four and suggest trading and hedg¬ing strategy for investors, speculators and agricultural producers.

Back To The Futures is mostly a compilation of just some of the writings I have done since 1980. Parts are from my newsletter, which began in 1985; others are from my newspaper columns and some things I have written specifically for this book. Consequently, much of the writings cover 1985-1989. There was simply more to choose from in that period.

However, it was not my intent to write a totally serious or scholarly book about the 1980’s futures markets. I will leave that to others. I do, however, intend for this book to be accurate, entertaining, easily read and educational.

I don’t think there has ever been a decade quite like the 1980’s. Unprecedented global peace, worldwide economic growth, incredible price fluctuations for stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities, greed beyond belief and scandals — mind-bending in scope — have highlighted this decade. It has been a unique period in the 20th century.”

Back To The Futures is a history book about the futures markets in the 1980s. And make no mistake, the 80s were watershed years highlighted by intense volatility. Here are a few paragraphs from a chapter entitled, “Recession or Depression 1980-1981, ” I wrote on December 12, 1980 for the Livestock Market Weekly, “Silver prices...are down $25,000 per contract over the past two weeks while gold futures are down $10,500 per contract. That particular week was cruel to more than just metal traders. In those days all markets were moving quickly and trading was dangerous to anyone caught on the wrong side of a big move.”

“In the last 10 trading days, soybean prices are off $2.37 per bushel, corn off 56 cents per bushel and wheat down 49 cents per bushel. Panic selling also hit the livestock markets with June hogs dropping $10 in ten days while cattle prices were down $6. It has been a long time since I have seen so much blood in the pits. Many livestock traders were completely wiped out this past week.”

The 1980s set the stage for the, 90’s and decades that followed regarding, stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities. Do not allow history to catch you by surprise. Know your history before you invest, speculate or decide plant a crop. Know your history!

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