The Logbook: That one time the U.S. banned gold futures for 2 weeks

Quick Take

  • On June 17, 1864, the Thirty-eighth Congress of the United States enacted what would be the first recorded instance of federal government regulation of derivatives, banning gold futures from being traded
  • 15 days later, the Congress repealed its ban

In 1861, the first year of the American Civil War, the Union government began borrowing money in an effort to fund the war by issuing Demand Notes that were redeemable on demand for gold or silver coins. By the end of the year, however, economic conditions in Union states deteriorated to a point where the government could no longer afford to redeem Demand Notes.