Release: 5400-07

For Release: October 15, 2007

First International Commodity Market Manipulation Conference to be Hosted by the CFTC

Washington, DC – Tomorrow, senior enforcement officials from around the world are gathering in Washington, DC for the first international enforcement conference focused on commodity market manipulation. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) two-day conference will bring international regulators together to share respective observations of trends in commodities and commodity derivatives markets, including on-exchange, cash and over-the-counter, with the goal of enhancing the ability of the CFTC and its fellow regulators to detect and deter misconduct affecting commodity prices.

“The CFTC’s principles-based approach to market oversight gives us the ability to act as an effective oversight regulator with the tools that allow for strong enforcement,” said CFTC Director of Enforcement Greg Mocek. “Detecting and prosecuting commodity manipulation continues to present new challenges as the markets, products and trading methods evolve. This international exchange of ideas and perspectives is critical as all regulators work toward the common goal of prosecuting those who manipulate markets.”

Operating under a principles-based regulatory regime that utilizes strong enforcement tools, the CFTC is recognized as a world leader in investigating and prosecuting manipulative activity in all derivatives markets. The CFTC has committed substantial resources to investigating traders for allegations of price manipulation and false reporting through trading strategies affecting futures, cash and OTC derivatives markets. Starting in December of 2002, in the energy sector alone, the CFTC filed cases against more than 60 respondents and assessed hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties against some of the largest participants in the global energy markets.

Derivatives markets have enjoyed enormous growth in recent years, with yearly trading values at record highs that far surpass debt and equity markets. The prices derived from trading in these markets provide a benchmark for prices of commodities in commercial transactions throughout the world and, as a result, affect the prices paid by consumers for goods and services. Regulators have an enormous responsibility to ensure that commodity prices reflect the legitimate forces of supply and demand, rather than the manipulative conduct of market participants.

The conference will provide a forum for discussion of the commodity markets worldwide, and what measures have proven effective. Through these discussions, the CFTC seeks to ensure that commodity markets are receiving adequate attention by regulators worldwide to effectively detect and deter manipulation across all sectors.

Media Contacts
Ianthe Zabel

R. David Gary

Last Updated: October 12, 2007