I have no idea what you are getting at. The 19th Century slave market reports were not reports on nonexistent futures markets… ok. We are in full agreement.Thank you. I do have to ask how you can suggest that slave market data was just as important as the current quotes for hogs when there were no futures or options markets for chattels. That is the point that I keep trying to make: slavery was absolutely essential, like the air people breathed; but our assumptions about how financial markets valued them seems to be much more a matter of faith than one of evidence. The difference matters because one has to question whether or not "the South was the wealthiest part of the country" - as is usually alleged - when the largest part of that wealth could not, in fact, be turned into money in any wholesale markets. American farmers could forward sell their entire crops into the financial markets; I have yet to find any evidence that plantation owners could mortgage their work force.
Perhaps we can end this dialog in your favor by reviewing together those weekly market reports. Could you send a reply with the links that are available? I may be badly misunderstanding how much financial liquidity there was in the slave trade. It will hardly be the first or the last mistake I will make in struggling to understand the economics and finance of the Civil War period.