“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

—Charles Darwin

New York’s oldest commodity exchange, the New York Cotton Exchange, was established in 1870. For over a century, traders packed the cotton trading pit. They would discuss weather and crop reports, and they would make and lose fortunes. On a rainy Friday, October 19, 2012, the floor traders in cotton (as well as in coffee, cocoa, sugar, and orange juice) donned their trading jackets and yelled out their bids and offers for the last time. You see, this was the final day of “open-outcry” trading. The following Monday, for the first time since 1870, every trade in these markets was matched ...

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