On March 21, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (“Division of Oversight”) issued a letter (“CFTC Letter No. 14-34”) concluding, subject to certain conditions, it would not recommend enforcement action against a party for failure to register as a swap dealer with respect to utility business-related swaps with public power utilities.
Continue Reading CFTC Division Issues Temporary “No Action” Guidance Regarding Swaps with Public Power Entities

On January 15, 2014, the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection held a hearing entitled “Regulating Financial Holding Companies and Physical Commodities.”  The purpose of the hearing was to explore the regulation of financial institutions operating in the physical commodity markets.
Continue Reading Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Regulating Financial Holding Companies and Physical Commodities

On September 30, 2013, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Market Oversight (“DMO”) released responses to Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) regarding commodity options.  The topics addressed in the responses to the FAQs included general information regarding the filing of the CFTC Form TO (Annual Notice Filing for Counterparties to Unreported Trade Options), trade options reporting, and exceptions to commodity options being regulated as swaps.
Continue Reading CFTC Releases Responses to FAQs for Commodity Options

In a joint rulemaking effort this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC,” the SEC and CFTC collectively referred to as the “Commissions”) voted to finalize two major rules under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”). 
Continue Reading Regulators Further Define “Swap” and Finalize End-User Clearing Exception

On April 25, 2012, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) filed a petition in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (“D.C. Circuit”) supporting energy trader Brian Hunter’s appeal of a FERC order imposing a $30 million civil penalty on Hunter for alleged market manipulation (see April 25, 2011 edition of the WER). 
Continue Reading CFTC Argues FERC Has No Jurisdiction in Brian Hunter Case

On February 24, 2010, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued an order that simultaneously filed and settled charges against UBS AG (“UBS”) for exceeding the New York Mercantile Exchange’s (“NYMEX”) position limits on certain natural gas, heating oil and platinum futures contracts.  Under the accepted Offer of Settlement, in which UBS does not admit or deny the CFTC’s findings, UBS agrees to pay a civil monetary penalty of $130,000.
Continue Reading CFTC Sanctions Firm for Exceeding Position Limits on Various Energy Contracts