Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ICE, ICE, Baby: CFTC Wants More Oversight of Exchanges

It's a start.
From Forbes:

Federal commodity regulators on Wednesday asked Congress to give them greater oversight of electronic exchanges as a way to deter potential price distortion and manipulation, and to protect consumers.

A congressional investigation earlier this year found a hedge fund that collapsed after losing more than $6 billion in natural gas trades had shifted its activities to an unregulated electronic exchange to avoid trading limits, and that this "excessive speculation" drove up homeowners' heating bills.

In a report to Congress on Wednesday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission asked for enhanced authority over unregulated electronic exchanges, such as the InterContinental Exchange Inc.

...But the commission appears focused on the large energy futures contracts. The report said its "current level of regulation is appropriate" for exempt contracts "when trading volume remains low and their prices are not significantly relied upon by other markets."

The commission also said it intends to establish an energy markets advisory committee to conduct public meetings on relevant issues and to work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to develop best practices for utilities and others who use Nymex settlement prices as hedging vehicles and benchmarks in pricing their energy products....MORE

NYMEX Praises CFTC Report Calling for New Oversight of Certain Exempt Commercial Markets
From: CNN Money