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Steven Errera energy futures papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SCA-0008

Scope and Contents

The Steven Errera energy futures collection contains multimedia records of Errera's work in what was then a newly-established commodities futures market trading in petroleum products. Among the records are marketing materials created or collected by Errera for the New York Mercantile Exchange and the broader energy futures market; his business correspondence; materials from conferences and seminars at which he presented; publications covering the energy futures market; and publications authored by or quoting Errera. The collection also includes several artifacts, such as badges and paper sell cards from the New York Mercantile Exchange.


  • 1969 - 2018
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1989


Conditions Governing Access

Appointments to examine materials must be made in advance. Please e-mail for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions may be provided to users to support research and scholarship. However, collection use is subject to all copyright laws. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Biographical Note

Alumnus Steven Errera was a notable figure in energy trading beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He graduated from Queens College in May of 1969 with a BA in Economics; one month later he landed a position as a "Board Boy" at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), while working towards an MBA at Rutgers University. Errera worked his way up through the exchange in a multitude of roles, moving from Board Boy to Clerk, Auditor, Clearing House Manager, and Director of Marketing, before becoming become Vice President of Market Development. He went on to spend 38 years affiliated with NYMEX, a major commodities futures exchange, establishing their marketing department and pioneering their involvement in the energy futures market.

During Errera’s early years at NYMEX, the organization traded traditional futures contracts in metal and agricultural commodities. A scandal provided the urgency that led NYMEX into energy futures trading. In 1976, NYMEX declared default on its Maine potato contract, and stopped trading this major commodity. The Exchange’s outlook was grim. Looking to rebound, Errera saw the opportunity to establish a market for heating oil futures contracts based in New York Harbor. Thus, in 1978, NYMEX launched the first of the many energy commodities futures it would soon trade, including heating oil, crude oil, gasoline, and natural gas. Errera marketed NYMEX’s energy futures market to major energy producers and consumers, and developed close relationships with the business press. Under Errera, NYMEX frequently produced guides and newsletters for the energy sector of the financial industry.

When Errera left NYMEX in 1981, it was to establish Energy Futures Inc. and become an Exchange Member with rights to trade on the floor.

He joined forces with Joel Faber of Fabers’ Futures Inc., to set up their own brokerage and consulting firm. Errera continued to write for trade publications, speak at industry conferences, and teach academic seminars, especially at the New School in New York City, New York University, and Queens College.

As a Member Errera served on the facilities, arbitration, new products, clearing house, and marketing committees, and had the distinction of being the only member to sit on all of the energy advisory committees (petroleum products, crude, propane, and natural gas) simultaneously.

Errera has given hundreds of lectures and seminars on energy futures in both academia and corporate settings, and co-authored multiple books on the subject. Also in the 1980s Errera was interviewed on all the national television networks concerning oil prices.

Over the years, Errera has contributed articles to several publication including American Banker, Oil & Gas Journal, Futures Magazines, Yankee Oilman, Fuel Oil News, and the Journal of Commerce. He has writeen two books on energy futures trading, the latest of which, Fundamentals of Trading Energy Futures and Options, is in its third edition, published by Penwell Press in 2018.

Errera's company, Energy Futures Inc., provided brokerage and consulting services to the major oil companies as well as to large consumers of energy products. Clients included Conoco, SOHO, Tenneco, ARCO, Occidental Petroleum, Gulf Oil, CITGO, Louisiana Land & Oil, American Refining, Global Petroleum, Petron, and Sun Oil Co.


2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Materials collected by Queens College alumnus Steven Errera related to his career in the early years of the energy futures market.


The collection has been arranged in three series: Professional; Publications; and Artifacts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the colletion was donated to Queens College by Steven Errera in September 2018. Items in the Artifacts series were added in September 2023.


Errera, S. Personal communication, September 3, 2019.

Markham, J. W. (2002). Derivatives expand. In A Financial History of the United States (Vol. 3, pp. 51-64). Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

Processing Information

For Series I: Professional Materials, the archivist has left the original order of the collection intact. The items in Series II: Publications were removed from the original folders. Also removed from original folders, but remaining in Series I, are papers on Errera's special relationship with The New School, photographs, and some professional conference brochures which are housed in their own folders. Books authored by Errera have been cross referenced in the Alumni Publications Collection. Artifacts are in sleeves with detailed labels provided by Errera.

Steven Errera energy futures collection
In Progress
Max Thorn
September 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Special Collections and Archives Repository

Queens College Library, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us