March 13, 2013 Articles

The CFTC's New Era of Aggressive Enforcement

Recent provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act have expanded the CFTC's enforcement opportunities and have brought on increased enforcement actions.

By Vasu B. Muthyala and Laura L. Conn

The commodities and futures trading market has grown dramatically over the past few decades—and its primary regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has slowly been catching up and gathering steam along the way. What started as primarily a regulatory agency with little enforcement power now stands to take on a commanding posture more similar to that of the Securities and Exchange Commission. A combination of recent headline-catching scandals in the futures market, tweaks to its regulatory powers by the Dodd-Frank Act, and an influx of aggressive regulators have spurred a dramatic uptick in enforcement. Based on its emerging prominence and new powers, the CFTC will quickly become a much more feared Wall Street regulator.

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