Soybean farmers against the
Chicago Board of Trade
CHICAGO—June 18, 2002—
“A Federal District Court Judge in Chicago, Illinois, has denied the Chicago Board of Trade's (CBOT) last motion for dismissal and seta court date of September 9, 2002 for a jury trial,” according to Harvey Joe Sanner, one of the named Plaintiffs who brought action against the CBOT in 1989.
“Hallelujah! We have a trial date,” declared Sanner. “It’s a classic David and Goliath story of modern times. The Biblical David was luckier than soybean farmers because Goliath was dumber and easier to bring to justice than the CBOT,” remarked Sanner.
The suit alleges that the CBOT conspired to manipulate the soybean market in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The sage began on July 11, 1989 when the CBOT issued their infamous Emergency Resolution that sent soybean prices plummeting and farmers into shock. A drought in 1988 and reduced stocks and farmers were rightfully expecting higher market prices for their 1989 production. That optimism evaporated when the CBOT publicly mandated large contracts to purchase soybeans be liquidated, thereby forcing buyers from the market and creating a windfall for the short sellers.
Since 1989, the CBOT has relied on a bevy of lawyers and a 13 year campaign of legal maneuvers to block the effort by farmers to have their evidence heard by a jury. “The evidence amassed during the discovery process is damning to the CBOT’s 1989 action. I guess that explains why they fought so hard to suppress it. The CBOT engaged in a massive public relations campaign to try and convince farm organizations, congressional committees and regulatory agencies that they were not guilty of market manipulation,” Sanner says. “Now a jury will decide what is truth and what is fiction. Thirteen years is a long time, but we are grateful to the judge and our attorneys for the opportunity to finally tell our story and let the evidence speak for itself.” Sanner concluded.