About this Site:

Commodity-Corner.com is a Murphy & McGonigle resource for those interested in legal developments in the commodities, futures, and derivatives area. The information provided by this site is intended to provide insightful analysis and perspectives, as well as regulatory and enforcement updates and trends, in this increasingly varied and complex industry.

  • Pile of Gold Bars

    This past Thursday, October 10, 2019, at the Yahoo! Finance All Markets Summit in New York, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Heath Tarbert declared the virtual currency ether to be a “commodity.”  The thing is, it isn’t.  At least, not right now.

  • Electronic Data

    Although distributed ledger technology offers significant potential to streamline financial transactions, it does not come without potential challenges to its use to record electronic warehouse receipts – a fundamental part of the financial plumbing supporting cash commodity and commodity derivatives transactions.

  • The Bible’s Book of Genesis tells the story of how Jacob persuaded his older, first-born, brother, Esau, to exchange his first-born birthright for a bowl of stew.  Needless to say, the famished Esau made a bad deal.  Last fall, the SEC hinted that it may be on the verge of making a similar bad deal with its younger sister agency, the CFTC.  To rid Bitcoin-related securities from trading in the U.S. securities markets, the SEC has implied that it was willing to cede jurisdiction over commodity-linked exchange-traded notes to the CFTC on the basis that such instruments are “commodity swaps” rather than securities. 

  • On November 5, 2018, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“Commission” or “CFTC”) voted 4-1 to propose sweeping changes to its regulations relating to swap execution facilities (“SEFs”) and the trade execution requirement under the Commodity Exchange Act (“Act”).  This article summarizes the proposed modifications to the SEF regulatory framework and trade execution requirement.   

  • On November 15, 2018, the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement released its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2018.  This article provides an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the Division’s FY 2018 enforcement campaign, with predictions of trends and developments for the coming year.

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  • As part of an effort  to promote transparency and clarity, on September 10, 2020, the Division of Enforcement (“Division”) of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) made public its internal guidance to its staff for evaluating compliance programs in connection with enforcement matters.  This three-page guidance, which will be incorporated into the Division’s Enforcement Manual follows a comprehensive memorandum that was previously announced by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in June 2020 for evaluating corporate compliance programs.  With the heightened scrutiny of compliance programs resulting in harsher penalties and undertakings, companies should conduct a comprehensive review of their respective compliance programs to ensure fulsome compliance with the guidance issued by both agencies before the regulator comes knocking at the door.

  • Second Circuit Courtroom

     On April 1, 2020, the Second Circuit revived a class action alleging that the manipulation of Yen LIBOR and Euroyen TIBOR by many of the world’s leading banks caused the plaintiffs to suffer economic injury.[1]  In Sonterra Capital Master Fund, Limited v. UBS AG,[2] the plaintiffs, a group of investment funds, allege that their trading of Yen foreign exchange forwards, interest rate swaps and interest rate swaptions were adversely affected by the defendants’ conduct. 

  • CFTC Seal Outside its Washington, DC Headquarters

                On March 24, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced that it had unanimously adopted final interpretative guidance (“Final Interpretation”) regarding the term “actual delivery” as it is used in the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) provisions governing retail commodity transactions in the context of virtual currencies.  In light of the path leading to the term “actual delivery” finding its way into the CEA and the CFTC’s prior attempts in apply it to virtual currencies, the Final Interpretation delivers a well-balanced approach to interpreting “actual delivery.”

  • U.S. Capitol as viewed from Pennsylvania Avenue

    On March 9, 2020, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, R-AZ, introduced H.R. 6154 entitled the “Crypto-Currency Act of 2020.”  The thrust of the proposed legislation is to assign primary regulatory authority to specific, existing Federal agencies over three different kinds of digital assets: “Crypto-Commodities,” “Crypto-Currencies” and “Crypto-Securities.” 

  • Washington DC, Capitol

    With the country seemingly having survived its most recent Presidential impeachment process, what is not commonly appreciated is the outsized role that Presidents involved directly or indirectly in impeachment proceedings have had on commodities regulation. 

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