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Law Through Practice: London and Liverpool Commodity Markets C.1820-1975


Ross Cranston


London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

October 2007

LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 14/2007

Abstract:     
Although now forgotten, organized markets in commodities like grain, cotton, sugar, coffee and spices became firmly established in London and Liverpool in the nineteenth century. These markets were stimulated by the rising volume of international trade, as Britain became the first industrial nation, a major importer of these commodities and a centre for organising their distribution elsewhere, especially in Europe. The story of these markets, and the role of law in their operation, is fascinating in itself. However, it also enables us to test some ideas about markets against the reality of what were, for a time, some of the leading physical and futures markets in commodities in the world. The first part of this article outlines key features in the organisation and operation of these markets; the second part concentrates on the central, if uncelebrated, functions of clearing and settling transactions in these markets; and finally there is a discussion of market integrity and the role of law in curbing abuse.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

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Date posted: October 23, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Cranston, Ross, Law Through Practice: London and Liverpool Commodity Markets C.1820-1975 (October 2007). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 14/2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1021952 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1021952

Contact Information

Ross Cranston (Contact Author)
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
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