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.

  • 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. 

  •  On August 16, 2019, the defendants filed an emergency motion seeking to hold the CFTC in civil contempt for violating the terms of the Consent Order by issuing the statements by the Commission and Commissioners Benham and Berkovitz.  These statements have since been pulled down from the CFTC’s website.  Continuing further down this unprecedented path, the Court held a hearing on August 19, 2019, and ordered Chairman Tarbert, Commissioner Benham and Commissioner Berkovitz, to testify at an evidentiary hearing on September 12, 2019.  Stay tuned to further updates on www.commodity-corner.com.

     

  • On August 15, 2019, the CFTC announced that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a Consent Order which settles the CFTC’s claims against Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (“Kraft”) and Mondelēz Global LLC (“Mondelēz”) for manipulating and attempting to manipulate the prices of cash wheat and wheat futures, violating speculative position limits, and engaging in noncompetitive trades in CBOT wheat.  The Consent Order imposed a civil monetary penalty in the amount of $16 million against Kraft and Mondelēz, which was described as approximately three times the amount of the alleged gain of the defendants.  This settlement is unusual due to the absence of findings of fact and conclusions of law in the Consent Order, and restrictions to further comment on the parties beyond publicly filed information.    

  • Gold Bars

    “A two-letter conjunction and a two-word phrase decide this case.  At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars.”

  • On May 8, 2019, the Division of Enforcement made public its first-ever Enforcement Manual.  The Enforcement Manual addresses the various stages of the Division’s investigations and litigations.  While much of the Enforcement Manual is rooted from the Commission’s Regulations and still leaves much discretion to Division Staff, its deputies and director, it does shed some light into the Division’s processes and policies.  Although the Enforcement Manual does not create any private rights, is not enforceable in court, and is not binding law, it will likely be a useful reference tool for engaging in dialogue with Division Staff during various points of the Division’s investigations and litigations.    

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