Public Statements & Remarks

"The Waiting"

Statement by Commissioner Bart Chilton Regarding Anti-Fraud and Anti-Manipulation Final Rules, Washington, DC

July 7, 2011

It has been almost a year since the Dodd-Frank Act became law.  If we were in school, we couldn't receive a grade.  We'd get an incomplete since we still have so much work.

Folks have been waiting on issues like position limits, yet we haven't acted.  We have said we won't get things done on time, and for many final rules that makes sense.  For me, delaying on limits does not make sense.  However, that's a matter for another time. 

There is an old Tom Petty song, "The Waiting" in which he sings, "The waiting is the hardest part," and later "Don't let it get to you."  Well, I'm trying not to let it get to me and very pleased that today we are moving forward and we may not have to wait any longer.

Before the Commission today are several final rules, including new anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authorities, which will be critical ammo in the Commission’s enforcement arsenal.

I particularly thank Senator Maria Cantwell for her leadership on the anti-fraud and anti-manipulation provisions.  Without Senator Cantwell these provisions wouldn’t exist.

Currently, we have a nearly impossible manipulation standard, winning only one case in 35 years.  We have had to prove intent, artificial price, market control and that the manipulators actually caused the artificial price.  A very tall order.  With the adoption of this new rule, the Commission will be able to prosecute a broader array of commodity law violations.  Here are a few of them:

  • First, it will give us the ability to go after fraudulent practices that manipulate prices—like disseminating misinformation about the global availability of crude oil to manipulate the market.
  • Pocketing profits from the misuse of privileged information will now be prosecuted.  We’ll be able to get at, for example, bad actors akin to insider traders.
  • Also, this new regulation moves us toward a reckless standard similar to that under securities laws as defined by the courts, and the law specifically gives us a reckless standard for false reporting.

The ability to effectively prosecute this type of unscrupulous activity is critically important.  We now will be able to swiftly and aggressively “get at” these types of fraudulent market practices, which can contribute to uneconomic or false prices in commodities markets. 

The waiting has been a hard part of this process.  Hopefully, we will conclude some very important work today.

For the other regulations that we have not yet been able to complete, I'll take heed of Tom Petty’s advice and, "Don't let it kill ya’ baby, don't let it get to you."


Last Updated: July 7, 2011