America's securities markets constitute a central distinguishing feature of its brand of capitalism. What are their political origins? In contrast to arguments which point to business owners as determining the institutional foundations of America's political economy, this paper argues that farmers played a leading role. Indeed, the rules and regulations governing U.S. securities markets were created in opposition to the wishes of business owners, and without farmers' political influence, the U.S. may have developed a financial system similar to that found in continental Europe. Moreover, to the extent that U.S. securities regulations serve as a template for international financial standards, the paper shows that the humble American farmer inadvertently contributed to the financialization of the modern global economy.