CFTC History in the 2000s
February 22, 2000—The CFTC transmits to Congress a staff report, “A New Regulatory Framework,” which recommends changes to the CFTC’s regulatory structure. The report details changes that will lessen the regulatory burdens on U.S. futures markets by creating a more flexible regulatory framework. At the same time, the framework provides the over-the-counter (OTC) markets with greater legal certainty. Much of this framework will be incorporated into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. (CFTC Press Release 4367-00, February 22, 2000)
March 6, 2000—The CFTC permits use of electronic signatures in lieu of handwritten signatures by customers of futures commission merchants, clients of commodity trading advisors, and commodity pool participants. (CFTC Press Release 4372-00, March 6, 2000)
March 28, 2000—The Commission participates in the first annual international Internet Surf Day, organized by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), which targets futures and securities fraud and abuse on the Internet. This Surf Day includes the participation of approximately 220 individuals from 21 regulators in 18 countries. The second Surf Day takes place on April 23, 2001. (CFTC Press Release 4399-00, May 15, 2000)
September 14, 2000—The CFTC and Securities and Exchange Commission announce an agreement providing for joint jurisdiction over security futures products, that is, single stock futures and futures on narrow-based stock indices. Under the agreement, which will be incorporated into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, the CFTC retains exclusive jurisdiction over futures contracts on broad-based stock indices. (CFTC Press Release 4447-00, September 14, 2000)
November 22, 2000—The CFTC approves rules implementing the New Regulatory Framework. These rules are later superseded by passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 and most new rules were subsequently withdrawn. (CFTC Press Release, 4475-00, November 22, 2000)
December 21, 2000—President Clinton signs into law the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which, among other things, reauthorizes the Commission for five years, overhauls the Commodity Exchange Act to create a flexible structure for the regulation of futures and options trading, clarifies Commission jurisdiction over certain retail foreign currency transactions, and repeals the 18-year-old ban on the trading of single stock futures. On the same day, the CFTC withdraws most of the New Regulatory Framework; however, the amendments to Regulation 1.25 concerning investment of customer funds by futures commission merchants and derivatives clearing organizations are made effective immediately with some technical corrections. The amendments permit investment of customer funds in new types of instruments, such as money market mutual funds. (CFTC Press Release 4479-00, December 15, 2000; CFTC Press Release 4481-00, December 21, 2000)
February 5, 2001 and February 8, 2001—In light of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act’s clarification of the CFTC’s jurisdiction over retail foreign currency trading, the CFTC issues an advisory and a revised consumer alert addressing the offering of foreign currency trading opportunities to the retail public. The advisory explains how firms may lawfully offer foreign currency trading opportunities and the consumer alert warns the public of the risks of foreign currency trading and of foreign currency scams. (Advisory on Foreign Currency; CFTC Press Release 4489-01, February 8, 2001)
April 18, 2001—For the first time since the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, the CFTC uses its newly-clarified authority to file a complaint charging fraud and the offering of illegal futures contracts against a firm soliciting retail investors to trade foreign currency contracts. Over the next several years, the CFTC filed similar complaints against dozens of firms that solicit retail investors to trade foreign currency. (CFTC Press Release 4508-01, April 19, 2001)
July 9, 2001—The CFTC approves the application of EnergyClear Corporation for registration as a derivatives clearing organization under the Commodity Exchange Act. This is the first new derivatives clearing organization that is not affiliated with a trading facility to be granted registration by the Commission since the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Derivatives clearing organizations for the existing futures exchanges were grandfathered in under the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. (CFTC Press Release 4540-01, July 11, 2001)
August 1, 2001—The CFTC kicks off implementation of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act by adopting new rules for the various types of exchanges (with different levels of regulatory oversight) created by the Act. These types of exchanges include designated contract markets, derivatives transaction execution facilities, exempt boards of trade, and exempt commercial markets. (CFTC Press Release 4547-01, August 1, 2001)
August 13, 2001 and August 21, 2001—The CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission adopt the first sets of rules to enable the trading of single stock futures and futures on narrow-based stock indexes. Additional rules are adopted in subsequent months. (CFTC Press Release 4550-01, August 13, 2001; CFTC Press Release 4554-01, August 21, 2001)
August 21, 2001—The CFTC orders Avista Energy, Inc. to pay $2.1 million to settle CFTC charges of manipulating electricity futures; several former Avista employees (who each subsequently settle with the CFTC) and a NYMEX floor broker (who is found liable in September 2004) are also charged with participating in the manipulative scheme. (CFTC Press Release 4555-01, August 21, 2001)
August 22, 2001—The CFTC adopts new rules for derivatives clearing organizations, further implementing the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. (CFTC Press Release 4560-01, August 22, 2001)
September 11, 2001—The CFTC’s New York office in the World Trade Center is destroyed in a terrorist attack; fortunately all Commission employees escape without serious injury. The trading floor of the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) is also destroyed and trading is disrupted on other exchanges. NYBOT soon resumes trading on a back-up trading floor it has maintained since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and eventually moves into permanent space in the NYMEX building.
January 11, 2002—The CFTC issues an Order pursuant to Section 409 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act, added by the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, concerning the multilateral clearing activities of NOS Clearing ASA, a Norwegian clearing house, in connection with transactions entered into on the International Maritime Exchange. This is the first time the CFTC uses its authority under that section to determine that supervision by a foreign financial regulator, in this case the Norwegian Banking, Insurance and Securities Commission, of a multilateral clearing organization for over-the-counter (OTC) derivative instruments satisfies appropriate standards. Accordingly, NOS Clearing ASA may act as a multilateral clearing organization for OTC derivative instruments in the same manner as a derivatives clearing organization or a registered securities clearing agency. (CFTC Press Release 4595-02, January 14, 2002)
March 11, 2002—The CFTC releases a report on its own responses and those by industry participants to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. (CFTC Press Release 4617-02, March 11, 2002)
April 29, 2002—After several months in temporary quarters following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the CFTC New York office moves into its new permanent space at 140 Broadway.
June 21, 2002—The CFTC issues “Report on the Study of the Commodity Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules and Orders Governing the Conduct of Registrants Under the Act,” also known as the Intermediaries Study, pursuant to Section 125 of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. (CFTC Press Release 4659-02, June 21, 2002)
July 1, 2002—The CFTC restructures its staff organization to facilitate the implementation of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Under the restructuring, the functions previously performed by the Division of Trading and Markets and the Division of Economic Analysis are performed by two new divisions and one new office: the Division of Market Oversight, the Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight, and the Office of the Chief Economist. (CFTC Press Release 4600-02, February 1, 2002)
July 9, 2002—President Bush issues an executive order creating the Corporate Fraud Task Force; the chairman of the CFTC is a member.
August 21 and September 9, 2002—The CFTC and Securities and Exchange Commission adopt the final rules necessary to permit domestic trading in single stock futures, concerning margin and the treatment of customer funds, respectively. (CFTC Press Release 4685-02, August 2, 2002)
November 8, 2002—Trading in single stock futures is launched on two new exchanges—OneChicago and NQLX.
December 19, 2002—Dynegy Marketing and Trade and West Coast Power LLC pay $5 million to settle CFTC charges of attempted manipulation and false reporting of prices. During 2003 and early 2004, many energy companies settle similar claims under the Commodity Exchange Act that they intentionally reported false natural gas price and volume information to energy reporting firms in an attempt to affect prices of natural gas contracts. Some of the subsequent settlements are for $20 million or more. (CFTC Press Release 4728-02, December 19, 2002)
February 5, 2003—The CFTC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hold a joint conference on "Credit Issues in the Energy Market: Clearing & Other Solutions." (CFTC Press Release 4752-03, February 11, 2003)
March 12, 2003—The CFTC charges the bankrupt Enron Corporation and a former Enron vice president with manipulating prices in the natural gas market. Enron also is charged with operating an illegal, undesignated futures exchange and offering illegal lumber futures contracts through Enron Online, its Internet trading platform. Enron settles in May 2004 and the trader settles in July 2004. (CFTC Press Release 4762-03, March 12, 2003)
July 15, 2003—The CFTC approves exchange rules implementing a common clearing link between the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. (CFTC Press Release 4821-03, July 15, 2003)
August 26, 2003—The CFTC and the National Futures Association announce new rules to combat fraud in the retail off-exchange foreign currency market. (CFTC Press Release 4833-03, August 26, 2003)
Fiscal Year 2003—The CFTC approves or (in most cases) accepts the exchange self-certification of a record 348 new futures and option contracts during fiscal year 2003. While about 200 of these new contracts are single stock futures, the number of new non-single stock futures contracts easily exceeds the old record of 92 new contracts set in fiscal year 1996.
November 18, 2003—The CFTC joins other members of the President's Corporate Fraud Task Force in undercover "Operation Wooden Nickel" to prosecute individuals and companies allegedly stealing millions of dollars through sales of illegal foreign currency futures contracts. (CFTC Press Release 4867-03, November 19, 2003)
February 4, 2004—The CFTC designates the US Futures Exchange, LLC, also known as Eurex US, as a contract market for the automated trading of futures and options on futures contracts. This is the first designated contract market to be owned by a foreign futures exchange. (CFTC Press Release 4886-04, February 4, 2004)
May 13, 2004—Enron Corporation receives the bankruptcy court’s permission to enter into a settlement with the CFTC that provides for a $35 million civil monetary penalty. Collection is considered unlikely in light of the bankruptcy. (CFTC Press Release 4920-04, April 28, 2004)
June 30, 2004—In CFTC v. Zelener, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit finds that certain foreign currency transactions were spot transactions rather than futures contracts, and, thus, outside of CFTC jurisdiction.
August 30, 2004—The CFTC announces that it has completed its seven-month investigation of the sharp upward movement in prices in the natural gas market that occurred in late 2003. The CFTC states that its investigation did not uncover evidence that any entity or individual engaged in activity with an intent to cause an artificial price in natural gas in late 2003. (CFTC Press Release 4982-04, August 30, 2004)
October 12, 2004—The CFTC announces its participation, through a partnership with 19 other Federal agencies, in the launching of a new financial education website and toll-free hotline number. The mymoney.gov website and the 1-888-mymoney toll-free hotline were established to provide Americans easy access to information that can help them better understand their money: how to save it, invest it, and manage it wisely to meet important personal goals. (CFTC Press Release 5007-04, October 12, 2004)
February 10 and 11, 2005—The CFTC and the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) hold a two-day roundtable on cross-border derivatives issues which is attended by 60 market participants and senior regulators. The purpose of the roundtable is to hear the issues affecting those actively involved in transatlantic business in exchange-traded derivatives and related transactions, and to establish key areas where improvements can be made. On March 31, 2005, the CFTC and CESR release a Communiqué requesting comment on a proposed work program to facilitate the conduct and supervision of a trans-Atlantic derivatives business. The final communiqué is issued on June 28, 2005. (CFTC Press Release 5049-05, February 14, 2005)
April 6, 2005—The CFTC holds a roundtable on commodity pool operators and the commodity pool industry that focuses on the growth, innovation, and regulation of the commodity pool industry and the challenges and issues faced by the industry. (CFTC Press Release 5061-05, March 24, 2005)
April 29, 2005—The CFTC’s Office of the Chief Economist releases a staff research report, “Price Dynamics, Price Discovery and Large Futures Trader Interactions in the Energy Complex,” which finds that managed money traders (MMTs or hedge funds) do not change their positions as frequently as other participants, particularly including hedgers. The staff found that there is a significant negative correlation between MMT positions and other participants’ positions (including the largest hedgers). Results suggest that MMT traders provide liquidity to large hedgers and not the other way around. (CFTC Press Release 5074-05, April 29, 2005)
October 12, 2005—The CFTC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding the sharing of information and the confidential treatment of proprietary energy trading data, pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005. (CFTC Press Release 5127-05, October 12, 2005)
October 18, 2005—Refco, Inc., the parent company of Refco LLC, a large futures commission merchant, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, eight days after the company announced that its chairman, Philip R. Bennett, has hidden $430 million in bad debts from the company's auditors and investors, and only two months after the company’s initial public offering. The futures commission merchant is not included in the bankruptcy filing and is subsequently sold to Man Financial. During this time, CFTC auditors and attorneys are actively engaged in re-confirming that Refco LLC’s customer funds on deposit remain uncompromised and that the capital requirements of Refco LLC continue to be met.
January 4, 2006—The CFTC announces the filing and simultaneous settlement of charges against Shell Trading US Company (STUSCO) and Shell International Trading and Shipping Co. (STASCO), two companies whose ultimate parent is Royal Dutch Shell, and Nigel Catterall, who was the chief trader on behalf of STUSCO, for engaging in prearranged trades on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) on five occasions between November 2003 and March 2004. The settlement also directs STASCO to pay a $200,000 civil penalty and Catterall to pay a $100,000 civil penalty. (CFTC Press Release 5150-06, January 4, 2006)
February 15, 2006—The CFTC holds a public hearing to discuss issues related to self-regulation and self-regulatory organizations in the U.S. futures industry. (CFTC Press Release 5159-06, February 13, 2006)
June 21, 2006—The CFTC publishes in the Federal Register a request for comment as part of a comprehensive review of its commitments of traders (COT) reports. The COT reports are weekly reports, published by the CFTC, showing aggregate trader positions in certain futures and option markets. The CFTC receives a record 4,659 comment letters in response to this notice. (CFTC Press Release 5190-06, June 21, 2006)
June 27, 2006—The CFTC holds a public hearing on the issue of what constitutes a “board of trade, exchange, or market located outside the United States,” as that phrase is used in Section 4(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act. (CFTC Press Release 5184-06, May 26, 2006)
June 28, 2006—The CFTC announces the filing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against BP Products North America, Inc. (BP), a subsidiary of BP plc (formerly British Petroleum), alleging that BP manipulated the price of February 2004 TET physical propane by, among other things, cornering the market for February 2004 TET physical propane. The CFTC also charges BP with attempting to manipulate the price of April 2003 TET physical propane by attempting to corner the April 2003 TET physical propane market. (CFTC Press Release 5193-06, June 28, 2006)
September 18, 2006—Amaranth Advisors, LLC, a large hedge fund, reports that it has lost $6 billion of its capital, primarily due to losses on seasonal inter-month spread positions in futures and other derivatives on natural gas. Amaranth sells its natural gas and some other positions to JPMorgan Chase and Co. and Citadel Investment Group, LLC the next day. Amaranth subsequently announces that it will close.
October 31, 2006—Following a public hearing on June 27, 2006, the CFTC issues a Statement of Policy that, among other things, affirms the use of the staff no-action process for foreign boards of trade that seek to provide direct access for U.S. persons to their electronic trading systems. (CFTC Press Release 5252-06, October 31, 2006)
November 17, 2006—The CFTC and the U.K. Financial Services Authority (FSA) sign a memorandum of understanding concerning consultation, cooperation, and the exchange of information related to market oversight. The MOU establishes a framework for the CFTC and FSA to share information that the respective authorities need to detect potential abusive or manipulative trading practices that involve trading in related contracts on U.K. and U.S. derivatives exchanges in order to provide the regulators with a more complete view of these markets for oversight purposes. (CFTC Press Release 5259-06, November 20, 2006)
January 5, 2007—The CFTC begins publishing a new weekly commitments of traders report, entitled “COT—Supplemental.” The new report shows aggregate futures and options positions of index traders, as well as noncommercial and commercial traders in 12 selected agricultural commodities. (CFTC Press Release 5262-06, December 5, 2006)
February 1, 2007—The CFTC moves to strengthen futures exchange governance by issuing a guidance calling for increased public representation at key levels of decision making, including boards of directors. This guidance is issued in light of a recent trend in which U.S. futures exchanges have become publicly held for-profit corporations rather than mutually-owned non-profit organizations. (CFTC Press Release 5282-07, February 1, 2007)
May 7, 2007—The CFTC and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) issue a joint investor alert to warn of the dangers facing retail investors who are lured into foreign currency (forex) trading frauds. In the alert, the regulators caution investors that off-exchange forex trading by retail investors is at best extremely risky, and at worst, plagued by outright fraud. (CFTC Press Release 5332-07, May 7, 2007).
June 5, 2007—The CFTC approves an exchange traded credit derivative contract based on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s North American Investment Grade High Volatility Credit Index. This product is based on an index or bundle of reference entities. On the same day, the CFTC also issues an exemptive order to allow the Options Clearing Corporation to clear similar products to be traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. (CFTC Press Release 5345-07, June 5, 2007)
July 12, 2007—The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade announce the completion of their merger forming the world’s largest futures exchange, the CME Group.
July 25, 2007—The CFTC charges the hedge fund Amaranth and its former head energy trader, Brian Hunter, with attempting to manipulate the price of natural gas futures on February 24, 2006 and April 26, 2006. The CFTC also alleges that Amaranth tried to cover up the conduct by making false statements to the New York Mercantile Exchange. The following day, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues an order to show cause in the same matter. (CFTC Press Release 5359-07, July 25, 2007).
July 26, 2007—The CFTC charges Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and three of its subsidiaries with attempting to manipulate the price of physical natural gas at the Houston Ship Channel (HSC) delivery hub during September and November 2005 and with attempting to manipulate the October 2005 and December 2005 HSC monthly index prices of natural gas published by Platts in its Inside FERC’s Gas Market Report (Inside FERC). The CFTC alleges that the conduct was designed to benefit basis swap positions established on the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE). The prices of the basis swaps were based in part on the Inside FERC index prices. On the same day, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues an order to show cause in the same matter. (CFTC Press Release 5360-07, July 26, 2007). On March 17, 2008, ETP and its subsidiaries agree to pay $10 million in civil monetary penalties to settle these charges. (CFTC Press Release 5471-08, March 17, 2008).
September 18, 2007—The CFTC holds a hearing to examine trading on regulated exchanges and Exempt Contract Markets (ECMs) as part of an ongoing review of energy futures trading. (CFTC Press Release 5382-07, September 13, 2007).
October 24, 2007—The CFTC delivers to Congress a report that includes recommendations to increase the oversight of some trading activity on ECMs. (CFTC Press Release 5403-07, October 24, 2007).
October 25, 2007—BP Products North America, Inc. (BP) agrees to pay a total of $303 million in sanctions to settle charges of manipulation and attempted manipulation in the propane market. (CFTC Press Release 5405-07, October 25, 2007).
February 13, 2008—The CFTC announces the establishment of a new Energy Markets Advisory Committee to provide a public forum to examine emerging issues related to the energy markets and the CFTC’s role in these markets under the Commodity Exchange Act. (CFTC Press Release 5455-08, February 13, 2008).
March 11, 2008—The CFTC and the SEC enter into a mutual cooperation agreement to enhance coordination and facilitate review of new derivative products. (CFTC Press Release 5468-08, March 11, 2008).
April 22, 2008—The CFTC holds a roundtable discussion on the agricultural markets. The roundtable is designed to gather information about whether the futures markets are properly performing their risk management and price discovery roles. (CFTC Press Release 5484-08, April 10, 2008).
May 22, 2008—Congress enacts the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The Act reauthorizes the CFTC until 2013 and gives the agency additional regulatory and enforcement tools necessary to continue to effectively oversee the futures industry, particularly transactions in energy products and foreign currency. (CFTC Press Release 5501-08, May 23, 2008).
May 29, 2008—The CFTC announces a number of initiatives to increase transparency of the energy futures markets including (1) expanded international surveillance information for crude oil trading; (2) several steps to gather additional information from and improve transparency in the energy futures markets; and (3) the continuation of a nationwide investigation of the crude oil markets. (CFTC Press Release 5503-08, May 29, 2008).
June 3, 2008—The CFTC announces several policy initiatives aimed at addressing concerns in the agricultural futures markets raised at its April 22nd roundtable in Washington, DC. These include, among other things: (1) measures to obtain more information from index traders and swap dealers; (2) the development of a new monthly publication on trader data for agricultural and other markets, beginning in July 2008; and (3) the disclosure of an investigation into cotton futures trading. (CFTC Press Release 5504-08, June 3, 2008).
June 10, 2008—In light of the recent rise in crude oil and other commodity prices and the influx of new investors into commodity futures markets, the CFTC announces the formation of an interagency task force to evaluate developments in commodity markets. The task force includes staff representatives from the CFTC, the Federal Reserve, the Department of the Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Agriculture. (CFTC Press Release 5508-08, June 10, 2008).
June 11 and 12, 2008—The CFTC hosts an international manipulation enforcement conference that is focused on global trading in the energy markets. Participants include senior enforcement officials from 10 countries. (CFTC Press Release 5509-08, June 13, 2008).
June 17, 2008—The CFTC announces that Commission staff has amended the “no-action relief letter” under which ICE Futures Europe is permitted direct access to U.S. customers. The amended letter conditions direct access on ICE Futures Europe’s adoption of equivalent U.S. position limits and accountability levels on its West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil contract, which is linked to the NYMEX crude oil contract. (CFTC Press Release 5511-08, June 17, 2008).
July 22, 2008—The Interagency Task Force on Commodity Markets releases a staff report offering a preliminary assessment of fundamental and market factors affecting the crude oil market. The ITF’s Interim Report on Crude Oil studied fundamental supply and demand factors and the roles of various market participants, and it found that fundamental supply and demand factors provide the best explanation for the recent crude oil price increases. (CFTC Press Release 5520-08, July 22, 2008).
July 24, 2008—The CFTC charges Optiver Holding BV, two of its subsidiaries, and three employees, charging them with manipulation and attempted manipulation of New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Light Sweet Crude Oil, New York Harbor Heating Oil, and New York Harbor Gasoline futures contracts during March 2007. (CFTC Press Release 5521-08, July 24, 2008).
August 11, 2008—The CFTC forms the Retail Foreign Currency Fraud Enforcement Task Force which is charged with investigating and litigating fraud in the off-exchange retail foreign currency market. (CFTC Press Release 5530-08, August 11, 2008).
September 11, 2008—The CFTC releases a staff report with Commission recommendations on activities of swap dealers and commodity index traders. The report’s findings and recommendations are based on information obtained from the June 2008 special call that Commission staff issued to quantify key components of the over-the-counter (OTC) swap and commodity index markets. (CFTC Press Release 5542-08, September 11, 2008).
November 13, 2008—The CFTC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a framework for consultation and information sharing on regulatory issues related to central counterparties for credit default swaps.
December 23, 2008—The CFTC announces that the CME Group has certified a proposal to clear certain OTC credit default swaps through the CME clearing organization. (CFTC Press Release 5592-08, December 23, 2008).
February 4, 2009—The CFTC announces the launch, on a six-month trial basis, of a new monthly report: “This Month in Futures Markets.” (CFTC Press Release 5607-09, February 4, 2009).
March 9, 2009—The CFTC announces the formation of the Subcommittee on Convergence in Agricultural Commodity Markets, a new Subcommittee of the CFTC’s Agricultural Advisory Committee. The Subcommittee on Convergence will identify the causes of poor cash-futures convergence in select agricultural commodity markets and advise the CFTC on actions to remedy the situation. (CFTC Press Release 5629-09, March 9, 2009).
March 23, 2009—The CFTC approves final rules and rule amendments that increase the Commission’s oversight of exempt commercial markets (ECMs). The rules implement provisions of the CFTC Reauthorization Act of 2008, which created a new regulatory category—ECMs with significant price discovery contracts (SPDCs)—and subjected these electronic trading facilities to additional regulatory and reporting requirements. (CFTC Press Release 5636-09, March 23, 2009).
July 27, 2009—The CFTC issues an order finding that the Henry Financial LD1 Fixed Price contract – a natural gas contract traded on the IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. (ICE), an ECM – performs a significant price discovery function. This Order represents the Commission’s first use of its new regulatory authority over ECMs with respect to their SPDCs. (CFTC Press Release 5683-09, July 27, 2009).
July 28, 2009, July 29, 2009 and August 5, 2009—The CFTC holds three public hearings to discuss speculative position limits and exemptions in energy markets. (CFTC Press Release 5681-09, July 21, 2009).
August 19, 2009—The CFTC withdraws two no-action letters that provided relief for two commodity pool operators/commodity trading advisors from federal agricultural speculative positions limits. (CFTC Press Release 5695-09, August 19, 2009).
September 4, 2009—The CFTC begins disaggregating the data in its weekly Commitments of Traders (COT) reports and begins releasing, on a quarterly basis, data collected from an ongoing special call on swap dealers and index traders in the futures markets. Rather than breaking traders into two broad categories: commercial and noncommercial, the new COT reports break the data into four categories of traders: Producer/Merchant/Processor/User; Swap Dealers; Managed Money; and Other Reportables. (CFTC Press Release 5710-09, September 2, 2009).
October 16, 2009—The CFTC and SEC issue a joint report identifying areas where the agencies’ regulatory schemes differ and recommending actions to address those differences. The report includes 20 recommendations to enhance enforcement powers, strengthen market and intermediary oversight and improve operational coordination. (CFTC Press Release 5735-09, October 16, 2009).