The paper analyses the historical events that surrounded the evolution of the world's first exchange for financial options - Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) - one of today's most successful derivative exchanges. The detailed narrative is focused on the relations between the American securities regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the developing options exchanges. The analysis shows how the regulatory values of the SEC, framed by the political and social circumstances of the time (1968-1973), underwent a dramatic transformation. This transformation was accompanied by the formation of a dense network of connections between the regulator and other market participants, as a result of which the proposal to set up an options exchange turned from a threat to the realisation of the SEC's goals to an important regulatory asset
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