CFTC to host commodities regulators from around the world at manipulation conference

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will host its second annual international manipulation conference at its Washington headquarters June 11-12.

June 11-12: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will host its second annual international manipulation conference at its Washington headquarters. This year's conference will focus on global trading in energy markets because crude oil prices have climbed to record levels and many US lawmakers believe speculation is playing a major part. The conference, which is open only to regulators, will bring them together from around the world to share their experiences and discuss trends and techniques to detect, deter and prosecute illegal activity.

Why it matters: The conference comes as the CFTC comes under growing congressional criticism for not being more aggressive in regulating energy commodities. While the commission has emphasized cooperating with its counterparts in other countries, federal lawmakers have said that it should require much more reporting and disclosures about US commodities which trade on foreign exchanges.

Acting CFTC Chairman Walter L. Lukken, Commissioner Bart Chilton, and Scott O'Malia, currently minority clerk on the Senate Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, appeared before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee on June 4 as nominees, but the committee has not yet decided whether to send their names to the Senate floor for final confirmation.

Two days later, Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Me.) announced that the CFTC did not respond to their May 22 letter with 20 other senators requesting greater scrutiny of US-delivered commodities trading on foreign markets. Cantwell noted that Chilton responded as an individual commissioner but added, "Demand from India and China do not make oil prices rise $12 in one day. The CFTC is absent from policing the oil markets that are wreaking havoc on American families and businesses."

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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