Thursday, August 6, 2009

US FTC issues rule to fight oil market manipulation. DealBreaker Says: "Three-Month Grace Period!!!"

Here's the tip from DealBreaker (second time I've linked, they're pretty funny today):

FTC Announces Three Month Free For All
If you're in the business of oil market manipulation, the FTC wants you to know that you have a 3 month grace period to get all of the gaming juices out of your system before your costs of doing business go up. Starting November 4th, if you fall into one of the FTC's new booby traps, they'll come after you for up to $1 million/day....
...So the message is clear- if you're trying to get into the oil market manipulation game, you've got one quarter's worth of penalty-free trial and error time; after that, you better be right.
Here's the Reuters story:
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday issued a final rule to fight oil market manipulation, saying such fraudulent conduct can have wide-ranging ramifications throughout the U.S. economy.

The agency said its rule will prohibit fraud or deceit in wholesale petroleum markets and omissions of material information that is likely to distort petroleum markets.

"This new rule will allow us to crack down on fraud and manipulation that can drive up prices at the pump," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. "We will police the oil markets -- and if we find companies that are manipulating the markets, we will go after them."

The rule applies to the sale or purchase of crude oil, gasoline or petroleum distillates, the FTC said.

Wrongdoers face civil fines of up to $1 million a day per violation. The rule takes effect on November 4.

Violations include false public announcements of planned pricing or petroleum output decisions, false statistical or data reporting, and so-called "wash sales" intended to disguise the actual liquidity of a market or the price of a particular oil product....MORE