Silicon Valley on the Lakes

One of the interesting drivers for new development may be the exchanges for futures and options which are seeing some consolidation.  A recent article in the March issue of Business Week Chicago profiles the acquisition of the Chicago Board of Trade by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to form CME Group — a blockbuster deal that has created the world’s largest futures exchange.  Clearly signalling our increasingly networked economy, the new behemoth is now eyeing the New York Mercantile Exchange for an $11 billion takeover.  What does this mean for real estate and the larger economy? For one, an engine for the desultory tech sector in the Midwest.  Companies like OptionsXpress, an online broker, feed off retail futures, options, and back-end technology business generated by entities like CBOT, which does 79% of its beusiness electronically.  For the Midwest, which has struggled to incubate new technolgies in order to drive business tech growth, this may be the future.