PHILADELPHIA, PA – Duke & Duke Commodity Brokers, one of the largest brokerage firms in Philadelphia, has collapsed after the first day of trading this year after the United States Department of Agriculture reported a favorable conditions for coming orange crop production. The brothers Randolph and Mortimer Duke, who have helmed the firm since its inception in 1949, have reportedly sold their seats on the Philadelphia commodities Exchange having failed to meet margin call on their frozen concentrated orange juice futures contracts.
The day started well for the Dukes, who started buying FCOJ futures at the opening price of $1.02 per pound. The market quickly followed, and prices rose above $1.42. Fortunes, however, turned when spokesman for the USDA, John David Coles, announced that “The cold winter has apparently not effected the orange harvest.”
Chaos spread as prices dropped sharply. The bear market was fueled by two prescient upstart traders, Louis Winthorpe III and William Ray Valentine, both formerly of Duke & Duke themselves. Trading closed with FCOJ down nearly 80% from the day’s high, leaving Duke & Duke with $394 million in outstanding futures contracts. The insolvent firm is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Pennsylvania by the end of the week although questions remain about how the market will react to the demise of the longstanding institution.
In related news, a South Philadelphia native, Ophelia Curtis, has purchased two private islands off the coast of St. Barts, making the 24-year-old prostitute the largest individual landowner in the French Territory.