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The announcement of the proposed merger between the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was one of the best kept secrets in the industry. I learned while eating breakfast the day it was announced. Since then I've asked members and industry folks when they first heard about it, and similar stories unfold. One person told me that she suspected the day before that something was afoot at the CME because she heard via the grapevine that the place was crazed.
It's one of those things that goes under the "thought it would happen sooner" column. When the CBOT moved its clearing operations over to the CME in2003, that was …