The Chicago Board of Trade has announced a $1 million investment in ROOT, a commodities exchange for Internet-generated consumer leads co-founded by Lewis Ranieri, the inventor of the mortgage-backed security.New York-based ROOT now operates a commodities exchange for Internet-generated mortgage leads, but the platform is designed to be easily adapted for use with automobile and insurance leads, among others, according to the CBOT. "More than 30 years ago, the CBOT was the first exchange to trade interest rate futures contracts," said Bernard W. Dan, president and chief executive officer of the CBOT. He said the partnership with ROOT "represents an opportunity to be at the forefront of Internet lead futures trading." Mr. Ranieri, chairman of ROOT, said the exchanges "plan to explore new financial instruments based on the underlying fundamentals of Internet advertising and lead generation." The companies can be found online at http://www.cbot.com and http://www.rootexchange.com.

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